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Actually, it is a Laughing Matter 12/14/2009 - 1:14 PM

92584084 by Pete Bodo

Howdy, everyone. A few minutes ago, I received an email from my pal Bart Lagae, a Belgian reporter, who had a news flash: Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse have been cleared to continue playing while they appeal the suspensions levied against them for failing to be available for doping tests. The home page will keep you updated.

On to happier subjects:

While down at Nick Bollettieri's late last week, I had a chance to visit with Jelena Jankovic, during her shade-under-intense practice session with one of the young guns at the academy, a former University of Mississippi player, Robby Poole. These days, top women can hold their own against a player of Poole's caliber, at least as long as serving and returning are left out of the equation. Watching the two of them screw around playing tiebreakers (both players began each point by popping a ball into play from the baseline) reminded me just how far women's tennis has come since Chris Evert ruled the roost and puffballs floated in the air as often as sharply hit forehand or backhands pierced it.

I've always enjoyed watching Jelena play, and seeing her practice is in some ways more illuminating than watching a proper match, where all that tension and execute-or-die mandates are in play. Somehow, most players (Roger Federer is one of the outstanding exceptions) are visibly looser, more relaxed, downright happier when they're practicing.They sometimes go for wild shots and laugh when they miss; they make faces they wouldn't dare show to opponents. In matches, a player tries to channel the psyche of an assassin; in practice, she channels the spirit of a yellow Labrador retriever puppy.

Typical practice garb is more athletic than the stuff most players wear in order to keep those endorsement checks coming. Jelena wore mid-calf black running tights, and a crisp, clean, long-sleeved quarter-zip top of white - in whatever they call that latest miracle fabric that promises to keep you from getting sweaty even in a sauna. When did "wicking" become a spiritual state otherwise attainable only by following certain rituals that involve chanting? 

Jelena wasn't wearing make-up, and her dark pony tail poked pertly from the back of her trucker's cap. This girl has great legs, and the painted-on running tights emphasized their smooth but unmistakeably athletic curves. The overall look amounted to no-nonsense sporty, in an elegant way.

I chatted with Jelena during those rest minutes when the players sat sipping Gatorade under unseasonably cool, cloudy skies. She told me that her 2009 was full of unexpected personal distractions, including surgery for her mother Snezana, and the death of a favorite grandmother. "Those problems made me realize I didn't have to take everything, including my tennis, so seriously. You don't have to put yourself under so much pressure on the court. It's better just to have fun, and appreciate the good things in life. You can do what you want - play, laugh, have fun. Live your life, because your health is the most important thing."

Of course, it was something like a health issue that helped account for the horrible start Jankovic had in 2009. I was at Nick's academy at about the same time last year, when Jelena was fresh off a rigorous off-season strength-building regimen adminstered by Pat Etcheberry. The result of that well-intended desire to prepare for a strong defense of her No. 1 ranking was, basically, a disaster. "I gained ten kilos," Jelena told me, "That's about 20 pounds. I wasn't fat, because it didn't show so much - muscle is heavier than fat. But it made me feel uncomfortable, I felt physically restricted and I couldn't move as freely as I wanted. It was something new to me, I never was so heavy before."

For a player like Jankovic, who relies on her athletic ability, that physical change was a kiss of death - although there's certainly room to argue that on many occasions last year (the Australian Open was a great example), it was Jankovic's mind and heart that let her down, not her body. But perhaps those nasty switches on her competitive motherboard were flicked by the discomfort she felt. It's a tricky subject, for sure.

"Sometimes you try, you give your best and things don't go like you expect," she said. "That happens. But it's still important to try new things, to try to improve. If it doesn't work, so what? The main thing is to give your best."

Although Jankovic's first half of 2009 was disappointing, she was encourged by the way her game came around during the summer at Cincinnati and at times in the fall. She felt, at the end of the WTA tour championships in Dough-ha, that she had something to build on. "It's important to know that if you fail, you can come back and become a champion again. When you're going up and winning, it's easy. You don't have a care in the world. But that is just the easy part of your career. Right now, I'm proud about how I went down, and then I made myself go back up."

Jankovic is well-positioned to make a big move early in 2010, because she has few ranking points to defend. She says it doesn't mean very much to her. "I want always to make the little steps to get better, and not think about things like rankings and points.  I'm having fun in practice and just trying to to back to basics and add some little things that make will make me better. Every player has to learn to do what's right for herself and her game."

The new year will present opportunities, but unusual challenges as well. The WTA is without a dominant player at the moment, so there's room for the bold and talented to operate. But with former Grand Slam champions returning to the game (Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin), the home stretch at any major might find half-a-dozen ponies running flank-to-flank. "We have some very good tennis players and some very strong athletes," says the woman who's an appealing combination of both. "I think the year is going to be very exciting."

Jelena is undecided about doubles, and has no plans to play mixed. What, did she have enough of the Jamie Murray show, I wondered?

Jelena laughed: "It was enough. I am a Wimbledon champion now (in mixed, with Murray) and I think I am retired. So I can say I am always the champion forever, because nobody took away my title."

One of the nicer things about Jankovic is that she laughs more easily and freely than any woman on the tour; it's unusual, when you consider that the countdown to when Henin drops her first giggle or an unlikely guffaw is now entering something like it's 27th year. You can forgive a player who laughs a lot a great deal, including a six-month bout of competitive inadequacy. And the ability to laugh can be a great ally in the battle to turn back the tide of self-bashing and scab-picking. 

As we walked away from the practice court, Jankovic boasted, in a mock serious tone: "My goal in 2010 is to start fast and finish strong." She laughed at the cliche, but repeated it, forcefully, "Start fast, finish strong. That will be my motto."

It was hard to tell whether she was serious or not. But in any event you heard it here first.

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Posted by Tigress 12/14/2009 at 01:26 PM

First, Please~!

Posted by creig bryan 12/14/2009 at 01:26 PM

Keep Smiling

Posted by Ruth 12/14/2009 at 01:35 PM

Pete: I always thought that Jelena seemed to enjoy being on court and gave her tennis the degree of importance it deserved, so I wouldn't have thought that she needed the events of 2009 to make her see the relative importance of other things in life. But...whatever makes her feel more relaxed. She's fun to watch, and I always try to catch one of her matches at the USO.

The last woman player I heard who seemed to blame the tough training regime of Pat Etcheberry for later problems with her game was Henin. If Jelena's recovery from those "problems" can bring results that even slightly approach Henin's, then, maybe, it will all be worth it, huh? :)

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 01:39 PM

Thanks Pete, for your insight full comments regarding JJ.I admire her motto for 2010.I think most players would think similar,especially to be strong towards the end of the year.Where most players are carrying injuries,tired and just want a rest.

Well noone can take away her mixed doubles title.Though it remains to be seen if she can obtain a single GS title.

With the return of Clisters and now Justine 2010 in the WTA will be interesting to say the least.We have had a few seasons of "musical chairs" at the top.Noone seem to Want it Badly Enough to me.

Heres hoping that 2010 wont be the year of The Musical Chair.

Posted by Tigress 12/14/2009 at 01:40 PM

The first time i've ever been First. Yaay! This new format must be lucky for me. Hope it's lucky for Fed too: Grand Slam '10 coming up?


Roger Federer Countdown to 287: 26 (Twenty-six) weeks
Monday, December 14, 2009
261 weeks #1
Points: 10,550
Point Lead: 1345
#1 Weeks Rank: 4th
Target Date for Record #287: June 14, 2010
Pete Sampras Record for #1: 286 weeks
Target Date for 3rd Rank #269 (Connors 268): February 8, 2010 -- 8 weeks
Target Date for 2nd Rank #271 (Lendl 270): February 22, 2010 – 10 weeks

Posted by Master Ace 12/14/2009 at 01:42 PM

WTA exo schedule per
ATP stars may also play at each site

11/28 - Barbados : Serena Williams over Caroline Wozniacki 6-4
12/02 - Pelham, AL : Melanie Oudin over Courtney McLane 6-0
12/02 - Santiago, Chile : Maria Sharapova over Gisela Dulko 6-1,6-3
12/04 - Buenos Aires, Argentina : Maria Sharapova over Gisela Dulko 6-3,3-6,10-7
12/04 - Atlanta, Georgia : Melanie Oudin vs Sloane Stephens - N/A
12/05 - Charleroi, Belgium : Justine Henin over Kirsten Flipkens 6-4,6-4 and Flavia Pennetta over Alize Cornet 6-4,6-0
12/06 - Charleroi, Belgium : Justine Henin over Flavia Pennetta 6-4,6-4 and Alize Cornet defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-0,6-4
12/08 - Baton Rouge, LA : Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber over Anna Kournikova and Serena Williams 5-1. WTA did not play single matches. Tommy Haas was the star as he defeated Andy Roddick in singles, doubles(with Jan-Michael Gambill over Devin Britton) and mixed doubles(with Serena Williams over Chanda Rubin)
12/09 - Antwerp, Belgium : Kim Clijsters over Venus Williams 6-1,7-5 and Patty Schnyder over Kristen Flipkens 6-4,6-3
12/09 - Baltimore, Maryland : Melanie Oudin, Lindsay Davenport and Pam Shriver - N/A
12/12 - Cairo, Egypt : Justine Henin over Nadia Petrova 7-6(4),6-2
12/12 - Athens, Georgia : Melanie Oudin over Serena Williams 7-5
12/18 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Elena Dementieva, Jie Zheng, Maria Kirilenko, and Sania Mirza

Posted by Master Ace 12/14/2009 at 02:46 PM

How long does it take before the next blog entry is available on the home page? At the moment, the blog entry(A Tigeress at 11) posted yesterday is the one on the main page.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 12/14/2009 at 04:14 PM

Pete! I love you for this post. :)))

(although, navigating backwards to a new post feels kind of that a glitch, or is it permanent?)

It wasn't at all nice watching JJ in the early part of the year, but her Cincinnati win was a happy moment, despite the "WTA = lottery" comments it inspired, grr.

Ruth - perhaps it needed relearning, or re-emphasising, or perhaps in the early slump she had got into a bit of a muddle, and forgotten it or lost perspective? I think that's possibly easier to do than it sounds.

Posted by zenggi 12/14/2009 at 04:33 PM

Good evening,

Making way for TW's newest feature. Posts situated à l'Anglaise. Live and learn :)

Has Jelena heard of the 100 day challenge?. They use the same motto:Start fast, finish strong

Posted by Jacko 12/14/2009 at 04:33 PM

JJ!!!! :P

oh....early was very *tears out eyes* stuff......
but she seemed to be getting somewhere come Summer......but then that hiccup at the USO with her grandmother's death (and a good Shvedova)......and then a wrist injury...which she apparently faked cos Maria was so much better than her......but she at least seemed to be going somewhere come Doha....

oh WTA = Lottery.......good times....good times......

I don't have enormous expectations for 2010....just for her to play at a high level consistently.....whether she doesn't win a tourney or has the best season of her career.....if she's playing well consistently and back smiling on court....i'll be happy!!! :)

Posted by Master Ace 12/14/2009 at 04:41 PM

Glad you do not have high expectations for Jelena as the Belgian ladies return full time along with a healthy Sharapova and maybe a motivated set of sisters in the Williamses.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 04:41 PM

Jacko LOL!!!!!!

I hope for your sake we see all the Glitter again

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 04:43 PM

Master Ace I have my doubts with Justine being a full timer

Lets see if her wish is granted at Wimby next year and she does win it

Will she hang around?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 04:46 PM

Also with Kim being a mother as well.She juggled it quite well for a small part of the season.Lets see how things pan out playing a full season.

Posted by CL 12/14/2009 at 04:48 PM

Heh - clearly Pete has missed many of Fed's doofus moments on the practice courts. He should hang out at more. Not. For his own sake and sanity. Possibly safety. ( I keed, I keed - but Pete is NOT their tennis writer of the year candidate. Any year.) Bur plenty of photo proof that the silly side of Fed often shines on the practice court.

I think it would be GREAT if JJ can somehow get her game back on track ...but this may involve getting her head IN the game. Tougher fix, I think. But boy, she is a great add to the women's game, so I hope she can pull it both off and together. I can hardly wait to watch more massage thievery.

And indeed, she is living proof that more muscle does not in and of itself mean greater fitness and/or athleticism. Its a fine balance for both the men and the women. If I was a pro these days, I'd put my fitness $$ into flexibility and speed. And also good luck charms to stay healthy.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW?!!) 12/14/2009 at 04:51 PM

> "In matches, a player tries to channel the psyche of an assassin; in practice, she channels the spirit of a yellow Labrador retriever puppy"

loved this line.

*scrolls up to finish reading*

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 04:53 PM

I just read a interesting report with athletes and their training time in the gym

It can cause to some more injuries? eg cricket players.Apparently the way to go in their sport is to practice more.A batsman go out and hit more balls into the net.A bowler to just bowl more balls.

In any athlete weight training does give you added strength.Also is a good insurance policy to keep those muscles strong.

On the other hand it can slow you down in athletic ability.

Balance to me is the key.

Posted by Mr. X 12/14/2009 at 04:54 PM

Hi everyone.
First, what happened? The site looks very different from the last time i came, and it was only a couple of days ago. I guess it's a new image. I kinda like it, though, even if i miss the green a little bit.
I couldnt avoid checking the "Tiger at 11" post, wondering if it was about what i thought it was. And no, Pete didnt go there, although i wont ever believe the title was a mere coincidence:)
By the way, Tigress, i'm enjoying the countdown. Maybe, as the weeks advance, you could add some numbers stating what Fed needs to do to keep his ranking and in what scenarios he could lose it (Not now, of course)
About the article, first, i agree about the dresses the girls wear most times on court, Pete. At times, it looks like those designers are trying too hard. I have checked thise theory with my personal fave, among others.
About JJ, before this year she always looked to me like she smiled more on court and looked more relaved than she did this year, specially at the start. Probably the pressure of the Slamless No.1 debate got to her a little bit. Now, i dont know if she will have enough to be a factor at the Slams next year, considering there will be more competence that this year, and she really didnt do anything special this year. But her attitude on court used to be quite good to see, and if she brings that back, i think it will be for the better, even if she doesnt get to win a Slam (which i personally think she wont)

Posted by Jacko 12/14/2009 at 04:56 PM

ya never know MA......with all these girls suddenly being able to win a GS....theyre gonna have to play each other at some point....she can only play so many right???....ya never know....a strong fortnight with a few theory she's at her "peak age"

and again.......i kinda have my doubts for every player really....seeing as injuries run rampant on tour (that will be interesting to see for the belgians)....and it is an even year so Masha is due a slam.....and as i boldly predicted on friday....i don't think a williams will win a GS this year......

Oh...if only i could have more glitter....

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 04:58 PM

Jewell James Ward going to train with Rafa????

First I hear of it

Mr X have you heard this news at all?

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW?!!) 12/14/2009 at 04:59 PM

In some ways I wonder if the return of Henin and Clisters, not to mention Maria will help Jelena. She'll be one of the top 'ponies' in the running, and there will be less pressure.

of course, less pressure is relative. I'm not sure I could successfully walk across the court in front of a center court crowd, let alone play tennis well! :)

I am looking forward more to the WTA this year, with a nice mix of experience and new kids on the court.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:02 PM

Usually one gets a invitation to train with Rafa eg,Donald Young

Posted by Master Ace 12/14/2009 at 05:03 PM

Jelena could be helped with low expectations as Jacko put nicely in his post. The top 5 as far as winning the AO are the Williams Sisters, Belgian ladies, and Maria Sharapova.

Posted by Mr. X 12/14/2009 at 05:06 PM

Well, AM, i havent read anything about that here in Spain, although if you think about it, it would be a more interesting event in the UK than here.
I guess they invited him for some training sessions. IIRC, Ward's coach is a Spanish guy that was sitting next to Toni during that tournament in London i have already forgotten, so i guess they are friendly.

Posted by Alexis 12/14/2009 at 05:06 PM

I haven't been here since last week - a new format, I see. I definitely like it better. Easier color on the eyes than that bold green. So far it seems to be faster too.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:07 PM

I found out myself,I havent been to Rafa's website or news for a day

James Ward will be Rafa's training partner for 2 weeks.

Gee he is a tall guy thin as well.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:08 PM

Mr X Yes you were right they apparently discussed this at the YEC in London

Posted by Coby 12/14/2009 at 05:09 PM

Master Ace,

Congratulations on Stacey Allaster answering your question in Jon Wertheim's Inside Tennis column on SI/CNN!

Posted by Alexis 12/14/2009 at 05:12 PM

James Ward for Rafa? I don't know anything about James Ward. What rank is he? Roger has his normal Dubai training buddy with him for the next few weeks - Stefan Koubek.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:15 PM

Well congrats Master Ace just read your question

I am not happy looks like the Insane On Court Coaching is here to stay.Triple Pftt!!!!!

Posted by Mr. X 12/14/2009 at 05:15 PM

If he's a tall guy, that could help. Those are giving him trouble currently. For the same reason Roger kept practicing with lefties, he would do well to practice with big guys.

Posted by ericinphilly 12/14/2009 at 05:16 PM

hi everyone.
looks like Jelena is working on getting herself back to her former self. glad to see, she is def fun to watch play. lets hope she can have a good 2010!
jacko- i hope that the williams do win a GS this year. Venus winning Wimbledon would be great and Serena winning at least one of the other three would be great. i hope that they come in this year highly motivated, and maybe not play doubles as to not tire themselves out( like Venus at W last year).
also this isnt set in stone yet, but did anyone see the rumors concerning mixed doubles at the 2012 olympics. according to tweets, Serena is talking to Roddick and Venus/ Bob Bryan might be teeming up. sounds great huh? love to see that!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:19 PM

Mr X He is tall,just saw a photo of him

Anyway I think its good to have different training partners,they can bring different aspects to your game as well.

Posted by just a note 12/14/2009 at 05:21 PM

James Ward and Rafa article.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:21 PM

Eric Hi, well we are on the same page at least with Venus

I would love her to win the AO.I also wish that for her every year.

Maybe next year I will see my wish come true.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:22 PM

Thankks Just a Note I just read the same article

No big deal

Posted by Master Ace 12/14/2009 at 05:31 PM

Aussiemarg and Coby,
Thanks. Now, as Stacey states that Madrid is going to be before Rome in 2011. Already looked at the provision schedule for 2011 on the ATP and it has Madrid first. As far as Rafa is concerned, 2011 would be Monte Carlo, Barcelona, off, Madrid, Rome, off, French Open. Now, I wonder will Rome will have a combined ATP and WTA tournament like Cincinnati is scheduled to in 2011.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:34 PM

Master Ace Well that would make sense to me having a combined series in Rome in 2011.Lets see if the ATP and WTA concur.

I would prefer to see Monte Carlo to be played before RG,just saying lol!

Posted by decade and numbers 12/14/2009 at 05:34 PM

Heard on the latest podcast that Spain could make it 5 wins in a decade if it wins the Davis Cup next year. Even if that were to happen, the year 2010 will be the start of the next decade. This decade started in 2000 and ends in 2009.
Include the start and end years when counting - it is 10. Often times, I have noticed people just subtracting to get one less.

Posted by ericinphilly 12/14/2009 at 05:38 PM

aussiemarge: seeing her win wimbledon is great, and i def want to see her catch up to martina's record of 9. but to see her win an elusive AO, FO or even a third USO title would be priceless.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:41 PM

Eric I kind of have given up on the clay with Miss Vee lol!

Though to me she is the best grass court player out there.

Yes the great Martina's record is in sight.Hoping she can hold up physically,she will be 30 next year.Though she is still a great athlete to watch when fit and no injuries.

Posted by Mr. X 12/14/2009 at 05:42 PM

Well, probably Rafa would like it more the 2011 way, with Rome, that he likes much more than Madrid, ahead of RG. However, i still think there's one tournament too many in that clay list, as he's not getting younger.
Of course, this is just pointless talk, as i've already given up on the chances of Nadal playing a saner schedule, as well as the chances of him staying injury free for a whole season. Right now, i only hope the knee problems wont be too serious at the Slams, and they will surface at more appropiate times than they did this year.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:45 PM

Mr X Rome is a much truer caly surface than Madrid to start with.His record in Rome speaks for itself.Though MC is the closest surface to Rg thats why I would prefer the change around lol!

Posted by ericinphilly 12/14/2009 at 05:46 PM

aussiemarge: yeah i know about the sisters and clay. lol. but on grass you are right. lets hope that Venus can stay healthy and fit as she is getting older and win those 4 wimbledon titles. as i said earlier, maybe Venus and Serena should not play doubles as much during some slams. i think that hurt Venus this year at wimbledon..

Posted by ericinphilly 12/14/2009 at 05:47 PM

erg. i meant last year. no need to jinx her allready lol

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 05:50 PM

Eric I agree,seeing Venus had that knee injury to begin with.

Posted by Coby 12/14/2009 at 05:52 PM

Master Ace,

Seems that a combined event at Rome would make a lot of sense, especially from the WTA perspective. For whatever reasons, the WTA event in Rome has not drawn well at all in the last few years.

Posted by Mr. X 12/14/2009 at 06:00 PM

Yeah, make Rome combined and take the benefit of a combined event out of the hands of the Evil Blue Lord! He deserves it, for all his intentions of sinking us into his blue nightmarish world!:)
Anyway, it's time for me to get some sleep.
Looking forward for more reports from Pete on his days at Bolletieri's. I understand he also talked with Taylor Dent, and there is a big story right there.
See ya, everyone.

Posted by diane[Atlanta] 12/14/2009 at 06:01 PM

Tigress....I also am enjoying your Roger countdown. My laptop is in the final stages of of a complete meltdown so I have been relegated to the old computer in my basement apartment[my father's computer and he died last Oct.] Suprised this even works!

Love the thought of JJ in 2010, hope she brings some spice to WTA....not looking forward to Justine as she was never one of my favs.

Posted by Ruth 12/14/2009 at 06:33 PM

I don't belong to Twitter, but I enjoyed reading (on's Backcourt?) the good-natured trash talking (lifted from the Twitter site) from Roddick and Bob Bryan about who would smoke whom if/when they played mixed doubles with Serena and Venus in 2012. But, unless there are multiple teams representing the USA, don't y'all think (hope?) that Oudin and some of the other younguns might be giving the then 34-year-old Bryans and the 31- and 32-year-old Serena and Venus a run for their money? ;)

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeee!) 12/14/2009 at 07:34 PM

Nice read.

I do think JJ is exaggerating with the 20 lbs, though (Whot? JJ? Exaggerate? Never!). Is it even possible for a woman to put on more than a few pounds of muscle in a year, let alone a tennis off season?

Regardless, I hope to see JJ back near the top in '10. The WTA is better -- and way more interesting -- when she's playing on the weekends and smiling.

Posted by adicecream 12/14/2009 at 07:39 PM

I just read the Stacey Allaster interview to see Master Ace's question. The overall tone in the interview of sport=entertainment worries me a bit. I get it, I guess, but at the same time I shudder to think how far such an equation could be taken. We have seen on court coaching and models as ball people and the attempts at WTT to make tennis more raucous. Sex sells, and glitz sells, and fluff sells, but let's not not ruin the game with all the "fun" that to me belongs in exos and Davis Cup.

Posted by Suze 12/14/2009 at 07:41 PM

Mr. X,

James Ward is 6 ft 3 in.

Also, has anbody seen Nadal's 2010 Australian Open outfit? Here's a link:

I'm pretty sure manuelsantanafan would be delighted. *g*

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeee!) 12/14/2009 at 07:48 PM

Thx for that link, Suze. Wow. I like the tees and the warmup jackets okay, but the shorts are so much more fug than I remember. :(

It almost feels like Rafa and Sauce are trying to test the limits of their hottness with these ugly kits.

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 12/14/2009 at 07:52 PM

I don't know, it just seems like JJ makes many excuses for the decline of her game. I think Matt Cronin said it best when he said, "have you ever known anyone with more excuses when they lose." To her credit, she's a very hard worker, she would have to be with the real limitations of her game. I think if you break down her game, weak serve, very little power, it doesn't translate into a slam winner. I also feel she's over doing it on how much weight she picked up. This is an excuse for her loses, when she was actually beat by a better player. She has always been a drama queen. Great article Pete. Go Justine! Go Caro and Robin, Scandinavia's#1!

Posted by Suze 12/14/2009 at 07:55 PM

Sibily, the picture which shows Nadal wearing the outfit made me think it was a joke at first. The shirts are okay, I actually like orange, but the shorts? I couldn't stop laughing.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 07:58 PM

I have already pre warned Manuel of Rafa's 2010 outfit

I love the colour Orange on him

I have No Comment on the shorts

Nike must have been on drugs when they thought of the shorts

Though ins saying that at least there not checkered

Small mercies.

Posted by GB 12/14/2009 at 08:00 PM

yuck especially for the brown shorts:(( At least the checks on the white ones aren't so obvious

This year's AO night outfit was my fav Rafa outfit of the year. Wish they could've done something similar. Am guessing the brown shorts are the day outfit...

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:01 PM

Of course my Tommy would not be seen dead wearing those on court

He leaves that kind of stuff off the court

Hence the polka dots shorts he wore to a fashion shoot.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:02 PM

Yes being back the sparkly dots shorts Rafa was wearing,sigh!

or better still the Easter Bunny outfit

That was a beauty

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 12/14/2009 at 08:06 PM

Hola everybody!!!!
Wow, this TW looks so different
My family left and now I've 5 days *resting* and more family is comming
After to see Nadal's AO 2010 new outfit I can imagine msf's comments.......

I'm so tired to heard about Tigers *lovers*..... poor wife!!!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:07 PM

I am making a list of things to say to Rafa at the AO

1.His Insane tournament scheduling

2.He needs someone to come on board with him when making selections for up coming gear,prefably someone who has more taste than Nike.Maybe the g/friend can help in that area.She has to be useful for something.

4.As long as she dosent come to the AO thats ok with me.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeee!) 12/14/2009 at 08:09 PM

Suze - Yeah, it almost feels like Nike is punking us. Those shorts... just dreadful. *smh*

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:09 PM

Carol People have been suggesting he should go on Oprah?

Goodness me that would be the straw that broke the camels back

His wife has been through enough humilation for the rest of her life.also his kids they thankfully they are too young to understand.

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 12/14/2009 at 08:13 PM

I saw Sampras playing with a shorts pretty similar than that ones, I'm going to try to find the vid

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:15 PM

Carol They do say fashion goes around in a circle

Pity Rafa has to be the Victim

Posted by Carol ( 2010 Nadal Reign) 12/14/2009 at 08:22 PM

AM, I think Tiger doesn't have to show in public for looooong time, he went too far with his infidelity, it's so embarrassing. He needs a *rehab*

Posted by Suze 12/14/2009 at 08:27 PM

Here's a bigger photo link, complete with pink sweat band & bandana:

Subtle checks were the ones he wore at the WTF. I could barely discern that they were checks until I saw an extreme close up photo. I don't think the white one in this photo are subtle enough. But the brown is indeed worse. The tees are young and hip which is good.

On the other hand, Federer will be wearing aqua blue and red polos with white and black shorts I think.

Posted by Arun 12/14/2009 at 08:28 PM

AM: see if you can watch the Alicia Molik vs Sally Peers matchup. This is shaping up to be a good match. some very nice points.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeeee!) 12/14/2009 at 08:31 PM

Suze - Thx for that link. I actually really like the (supposed) Summer '10 kit.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:36 PM

Arun Great minds ,thanks

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:37 PM

Well pink and orange go together

I would die if the Pink tee shirt came back

Anyway,I just know Manuel will love it

Posted by Grant 12/14/2009 at 08:40 PM

"I think Tiger doesn't have to show in public for looooong time, he went too far with his infidelity, it's so embarrassing. He needs a *rehab*"

Yeah, 'rehab' in that he needs to lie (or not, maybe), claim an addiction, and go to rehab for it. Then the public will be more likely to forgive him, and scores of pro athletes can stop being mad at him for making their lives more difficult ("no honey, you have no need to worry, it's not a normal thing on the road, it's just that Tiger had an addiction").

Also, for the first time in a week no malware is trying to install itself when I'm here. Hurrah!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:45 PM

Grant Its true your powers are exceptional

Its just us every day folk

Cant seem to blog on

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:47 PM

Arun I cant seem to get the stream from the ATP site

Thats where it is streaming from right

Posted by Jamaica Karen 12/14/2009 at 08:48 PM

Aah tennis on my computer - thank you Tennis Australia. You see that USTA - live stream of even a wild card playoff makes people watch. Idiot USTA

Posted by Arun 12/14/2009 at 08:53 PM


Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 08:57 PM

Arun thanks I hate the ATP site at the best of times

Posted by Jamaica Karen 12/14/2009 at 09:00 PM

This is a really good match between Molik and Beers.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 12/14/2009 at 09:02 PM

What on earth will Manuel say about Rafa's shorts for AO? I dread to think! Oh wait, I think I already know ... something to do with "clownpants?"

Good news today, no warnings.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:04 PM

Karen its Sally Peers lol!

Posted by manuelsantanafan 12/14/2009 at 09:05 PM

suze, aussiemarg:

Thanks for the Rafa Clown Shorts alerts you've provided today and previously.

Based on what I've seen during the fall hard court/indoor season, I don't believe that Rafa, going forward, is going to be significant threat to win major titles on any surface other than clay.

So, I'm not going to get worked up over Rafa desiring to look ridiculous on tennis courts.

And I'm not going to blame Nike for Rafa's clothing. He's a big boy who calls the shots in that area.

Once it becomes apparent to the world that Rafa is Mr. Quarters and Mr. Semis everywhere but on clay, I wonder how much effort Nike and Rafa will expend on rolling out ludicrous tennis clothing on a regular basis.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:06 PM

Sally earns a mini break,has come to the net

Pfft Alicia where has your serve gone d/fault in a t/breaker

Sally 4-0

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:08 PM

Manuel I like the colour Orange

These shorts are trendy and hip

We have to move with the times

Posted by Jamaica Karen 12/14/2009 at 09:08 PM

Thanks AM, I just realised. Aussies have this really thick accent. Always gives me problems understanding them.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:09 PM

Karen Dont worry about me

I am deaf

Its the announcers lol!

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 12/14/2009 at 09:09 PM


Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:12 PM

Its Sally Speers idoit announcers

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 12/14/2009 at 09:12 PM

Tiger needs to go to sex rehab. One of his mistresses claim he had sex ten times in one day. I thought that wasn't humanly possible.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:13 PM

Alicia find your serve ASAP

Posted by Jamaica Karen 12/14/2009 at 09:14 PM

I know it is the new way of attacking a player's second serve, but I have a real problem with players going almost up to the service line to return serve. Not only that, but this Peers girl goes up and takes an aggressive stance inside the baseline, hits a cross court return on the second serve and then goes back to the baseline. It is not like she cannot volley because she is doing quite well at the net, but why run back to the baseline. I dont get it.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:15 PM

I am going Nuts

mis type

Its Sally Peers ok

I need valium lol!

Posted by Arun 12/14/2009 at 09:17 PM

wonderful wonderful point ending with an error. again.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:20 PM

Alicia and her engagement might have her mind off things like setting up a point and Pushing it too much

Think Alicia

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:21 PM

Another big tee serve

Blah fault

Posted by Jamaica Karen 12/14/2009 at 09:21 PM

AM, she is a tough little cookie this Peers girl - gets a lot of balls back and gets down real low for the slices etc. Not sure how she would fare on the regular Tour because that serve looks worse than JJ's

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:24 PM

Casey Dellacqua scores another win today

Good for her.

Karen Yes the woman today,well any era really,you have to have a good serve.

Posted by Arun 12/14/2009 at 09:25 PM

wow. despite somewhat bad serving by both the players, this is a good match. some very good rallies.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:26 PM

Arun Alicia serves just Sucks today

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 12/14/2009 at 09:29 PM

Break back by Alicia

Keep tampering the f/hand you will get the error

Patience is a virture too

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