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What's With This Blue? 01/19/2010 - 1:37 PM

95662082

by Pete Bodo

[For more on the Australian Open, also check out our latest podcast, which ought to be live later this afternoon. And while you're at it, check out our new feature, The Daily Spin.]

It's the first bleary-eyed morning of the year's first Grand Slam event, and I find myself once again wondering, "What's with this blue?" Granted, the potter's clay-colored court Down Under is a vast improvement over the Marlin blue the Aussies featured last year. It's an interesting, easy-on-the-eyes color. But it would look even nicer if the areas outside the lines were a complimentary, pale shade - a light green, perhaps?

But the Lords of Tennis seem to have this absurd fixation with blue, especially dark blue. I felt that way last year at this time, and also when tuned in to the ATP World Tour Finals. I also thought that when I heard Ion Tiriac floating the idea of blue clay courts. And I keep asking myself, why blue?

It's not like blue is a color that's psychologically associated with the game. Blue is a maritime color, and a Big Sky color; tennis is a grass and red-dirt game, played on dry land (unless you're on a cruise ship). Tennis evokes the solid, not the liquid or the transparent. Originally, those who could afford to contemplate the aesthetics of tennis painted the top skin of their hard courts in a maroon and green combination; the court itself was green, with white lines; the surrounding area a medium shade of brick, not unlike red clay, or terre battue.  Consciously or not, those original colors nodded pleasantly to the roots of tennis as a game played mostly on green grass and maroon clay. Now that was psychologically satisfying.

So, why blue? Just to be different? Or maybe the lords hired one of those market-research firms that tries to associate consumer choices and desires with specific colors or designs. Let me ask you this, lords: Haven't you heard expressions like, I'm feeling a little blue...He's got the blues...Blue Monday...Or maybe the idea is to get people so bummed out and depressed that they just want to stay in the house and...watch tennis!

So that's my rant. Let's move the game and forget this silly obsession with blue and start looking at nice, organic, light-side colors - the grays and tans and greens and maybe even yellows. Let's emphasize the bright and mellow, the earthy.

And while we're on the subject of earthy, did you catch Serena Williams' brief interview yesterday during the evening ESPN broadcast? I had to ask myself, what's with this giggly, girly Serena all of a sudden? Maybe she was just in a good mood. Or maybe her handlers told her that she looked pretty scary during that unpleasant incident that ended her semifinal match with Kim Clijsters at the last major, so it would be in her own best interest to really ham it up, and show a softer, gentler side to help wipe away memories of the foot-fault affair. Well, Serena really wanted to be an actress, and only her lack of can't miss talent enabled us to keep her for a little while longer. Now she can act - as well as rain perdition down on all comers.

BTW, did you see what a big deal was made out of Serena's streak of 41 consecutive first-round wins at Grand Slam events?  Darren Cahill joined that conversation with an unfortunate prelude,  citing Roger Federer's record of having appeared in 22 consecutive Grand Slam-event semifinals, and then segued to praise Serena's mark. He didn't equate the records, but just discussing them in the same breath seemed a bit of a reach.

Just out of curiosity, I checked the records of a few other top women, and came up with this: Kim Clijsters lost in the first round of a major just twice in her career (once in Australia, and once at Roland Garros), in the first year she played said majors. Henin has lost four times (also early in her career) and Serena's sister Venus has suffered just three first-round losses at majors. A consecutive anything streak is worth noting, of course. But first-round losses are oddities, not indicators -- especially so on the WTA tour -- and are virtually unknown once a player has a year or two of experience under her belt. So it begs the question, does the streak deserve to be highlighted and emphasized, or is it merely worth a mention and tip of the hat? 

In any event, I thought Serena at times yesterday looked awesome; she's the only woman who can hurt you as much with her serve as her return (see yesterday's post). But I do wonder about her stamina, should she get into a fracas with a woman who can move her around the court and make her work for every point.

Roger Federer had a few uncomfortable moments before he rassled down Igor Andreev. My feeling is that the model for playing Federer has been established: engage him and try to extend the points as much as possible, and work his backhand with the high-bouncing forehand (the court is especially bounce-friendly). Await the inevitable letdown(s) that have been creeping into The Mighty Fed's game, now that he's entering the "all gravy" phase of his career.

Watching Roger yesterday, I had to re-examine some of my own assumptions - the ones drawn from around the time of the U.S. Open final until now. I've expected Federer to be prone to lapses of focus and a certain amount of mental and emotional fatigue (or disinterest) now that he's bagged the Grand Slam singles title record. And I believe he was victim to them at the tail end of last year. But it's a new year, and perhaps that changes things more than we might expect.

All the while, I've also considered (and written about) Federer's greatest asset, his simple love of the game. He's a happy camper playing tennis, and that suggests that maybe that major No. 15 wasn't really such a big deal. Given how much the guy enjoys the game, maybe after Wimbledon last year year, he was thinking: Fifteen, great! That doesn't mean I have to stop now, does it? 

Federer has declared his intention to keep playing ad infinitum, and why not? This guy just isn't in a hurry to collect his trophies and deposit tickets and go into hiding in the Arabian desert. You might as well ask Bubba if he'd like to stop drinking beer, or bass fishing.

It naturally follows that Federer may be less prone to those anticipated lapses, or days when he simply feels too sideways to produce his best tennis. The temptation to psycho-analyze his competitive identity and accomplishments can lead to some pretty pat assumptions about the state of his motivation, but let's remember that Federer didn't set out to break Pete Sampras's mark; it just became part of the job description, and like any good employee he just kept his mouth shut and fulfilled it. This tournament may tell us a lot about whether the 15th Grand Slam was merely another milestone of Roger's journey on smooth pavement, or a sign sending him off on a fork in the road that quickly turns bumpy. I'm leaning back toward the former.

I thought James Blake looked sharp in his win over Arnaud Clement, and particularly good in his subsequent on-court interview with Pam Shriver. His light-hearted mood and lively, utterly relaxed banter with Shriver had to make you smile. I was impressed by how relaxed James looked, which bodes well for him in his next match, against Juan Martin del Potro. Those swirling rumors about the condition of Delpo's wrist are ominous; things like that seem to get out and into the public forum to prepare us all for disappointment. You can't blame Delpo or his camp from looking for a soft landing, but there's always a flicker of the white flag implicit in such revelations. And that means Blake's chances of getting by Delpo automatically improve. I'd look for the upset in that one.

I also liked it when Blake related how he and his American countryman John Isner were originally scheduled to play side-by-side on outside courts. "I could have been yelling over, Go Dawgs," Blake said, referring to Isner's college days as a Georgia Bulldog. "And he could have yelled, Go Crimson!" -- a reference to the small northeastern University where Blake spent some time before turning pro. And it was telling how Blake said that worst thing about being banished to the hinterlands (now that he slipped out of the Top 25) was the absence of Hawkeye and the line-call challenge system. Until recently, Blake could always count on being on a court using Hawkeye, and he said he found it somewhat unsettling to have to make do with it.

It's just another good reason for Blake to look upon his exile as a wake-up call. Have you hugged your digital aides and accessories today?


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Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 01:41 PM

Don't tell me I am first again! Twice in a week? Can't be.

Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 01:48 PM

As a longtime Blake fan, I noted his relaxed attitude too. I also picked up on a comment he made about Kelly having him move in toward the net more. It wasn't the tactic that hit home with me, but the idea that he may have become more coachable and possibly open to the controlled aggression concept that everyone from Pat McEnroe to the TW experts have recommended. James is 30 now, and time is not on his side. But I think a return to at least the top 20 is absolutely feasible if he keeps his head on, stays injury-free and maybe gets a bit better draw in the upcoming tournaments.

Posted by zenggi 01/19/2010 at 01:51 PM

I like the AO blues. It makes for spectacular pictures with the Aussie sun and it's very easy to follow on TV. Examples:

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0eILgIvbypcuO/1000x.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgSQHVG40Qs&fmt=18

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 01:59 PM

Juan Martin and James could be an interesting match today especially with Juan Martin dealing with issues. So far, Robin, Juan Carlos, and Tommy have exited with Robin's being very unexpected after leading by 2 sets.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 02:01 PM

Good Morning Everyone,

I love the "blue" of the AO personally,well lets say you cant miss it.

Good games today and I hope my faves act accordingly

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 02:03 PM

The match of the day on either side is the WTA battle b/w Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva on Rod Laver scheduled to start at 7:00 PM. This will be a good test for both players. Another match that would have been normally the WTA headliner but not on this day and it is Yanina Wickmayer, who won despite 80 errors, and Flavia Pennetta, who rallied from a break down in the final set, on Margaret Court Arena.

Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 02:05 PM

While I seem to have most of the floor: There were a lot of comments yesterday about the quality of the US EPSN coverage. I do like the interviews and don't mind their moving away from match coverage - especially if the match is particularly one-sided or my favorites aren't playing. But, I do dislike their staying too long with Serena-Maria-Roger-Rafa-etc. And I don't understand why TC starts up their coverage with Serena, then Roger, when ESPN showed those exact matches and there are dozens of others for TC to choose from. If someone knows that answer I would love to be enlightened.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 02:05 PM

Master Ace Justine v Elena will be a cracker.First night match on Rod Laver,then Tomic v Cilic after that one.

Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 02:09 PM

AM and MA: Obviously Justine/Elena is ridiculous for a 2nd round match. I just hope the play is as good as it could be. And there is no American out there at the same time that ESPN could show instead, right?

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeeee!!!) 01/19/2010 at 02:15 PM

Serena being "giggly" and "girly" in pressers is nothing new, at least not to those of us who have been paying attention and recognize that she and Venus are in fact different people. ;)

Posted by mcakron 01/19/2010 at 02:16 PM

Adicecream -- I'm no fan of TC; in fact, the thought of them ultimately taking over Slam coverage leaves me fearing for the sport's long-term health, but ... I'll try to answer fairly/objectively.

Most networks, including TC, are going to put the majority of their cameras and announcers on stadium courts for obvious reasons; hence, there'll be inevitable overlap on live match coverage because the # of stadium matches is limited. Moreover, many of the "outside" courts are probably not equipped to handle a ton of TV production. If you ever notice when ESPN gets stuck for any amount of time with an interesting match on an outside court, it's usually only with two cameras and the announcing is often handled by those in the studio or at the desk. I'm guessing TC is limited in this way also. Maybe even more so.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 02:20 PM

Adicecream I am not sure of the match schedule today.It all depsends if the matches on the outside courts keep to time.I think they have caught up due to the rain the other day.I understand what you mena though.We here in Aussie have the same problem.

Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 02:21 PM

Thanks, mcakron. What you are saying makes sense. But I don't see how TC can tout itself as the grand slam network showing what are essentially reruns. And I have to question how many viewers they will attract showing matches that ESPN aired during prime time the night before.

TC does do better at the other slams where the match times fit better into the US TV routine.

Posted by adicecream 01/19/2010 at 02:23 PM

Speaking of Aussie players, Casey D. kept me up last night waiting for her win.

Posted by Peg 01/19/2010 at 02:24 PM

Soderling says he "didn't feel good," but it wasn't the elbow that caused all those UFEs:
http://tinyurl.com/y8m7flk

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 02:25 PM

I still cant get my hear around the defeat of Molik,I went to bed when she was about to start serving for the match,geez.

Shoutout to the Dulko woman even though it took you 3 sets to Win,I got through for day 3 in my picks.Thanks to Baggy as well.

Posted by Karen 01/19/2010 at 02:27 PM

Hmm, 41 Grand Slams played and never lost in the first round. That is an amazing accomplishment. You will realise that a lot of these players start their careers as teenagers, and as a result of the draw could be made to face a top seed in the early rounds, usually the first round. They are of course usually the fodder for the big name players. To have someone ready from the get go 41 times is a major accomplishment and a streak that should be continued until Ms. Williams retires. For the record, Serena has always been a giggling girl. Dont think this is something of a PR move or anything of that nature. I myself do not see why Cahill had to reference Federer's GS semi streak in order to apparently give credence to Serena's 41 unbeaten first round matches. The two are polar opposites. Serena's 41 consecutive first round victories at majors is a testament to her mental strength from the get go.

Posted by SuperMarion 01/19/2010 at 02:32 PM

I'm turning red.....

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 02:36 PM

For Rafa fans,

If you go to the Vamos Brigade site,just google Rafa Nadal and then scroll down.They have posted pictures of the chairty expo.

The famous "massage" of Rafa's thigh by Aussie Kim is there also the one with Rafa and Nole getting up close and personal.

Rafa's match is third up today on Rod Laver Arena.

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 02:48 PM

Samantha Elin,
Please look at Abilgail Lorge's article on my comment(also Karin 1492) about Melanie.

Posted by Pspace (The Curse of Tommy Robredo) 01/19/2010 at 02:49 PM

Chris Evert never lost before the 3rd round in any of the slams she played -- 56. So, Serena has a bit of a ways to go. In fact, Chrissie didn't lose before the SF till she turned 29...at streak of about 34, and she played 34 of 50 slams in that 12 year period. So, I'm not sure what to make of the number...certainly attests to the talents of the young Serena.

As for Federer, my guess is he'll be fine. What would've given me pause is if he'd started playing go-for-broke kinda stuff. But, if anything, he seems committed to winning.

Posted by skip1515 01/19/2010 at 02:50 PM

I thought Blake's match against Clement was not only a good one, but the avoidance of a possible upset for Blake. Clement has had a great run Down Under, especially given his lucky loser entry into Sydney (?). He's tenacious, and even with his 0/7 record against Blake he could have been troublesome if he was Steady Eddy to a go-for-broke Blake.

But to my eye Blake was playing more controlled tennis, especially on his backhand. Did Kelly Jones convince Blake that his backhand isn't less than 80% of this vaunted forehand? It's a valid argument, and given how many times he hit solid backhands into open territory without trying to paint the lines (or burn them off with blazing speed) it bodes well for his match against del Potro. Me? I hope he gets the W.

Posted by Ross 01/19/2010 at 02:51 PM

Does anyone know who the new ESPN woman--Chris McSomething--is? She seems a step up from the usual--confident, professional and perhaps even knowledgeable about tennis. She handled the interview with Serena with aplomb. Nice voice too.

Posted by mcakron 01/19/2010 at 02:58 PM

Skip1515 -- he has an outside shot. Stating the obvious here, but Blake is one of the few players who can probably hang with DelPo's pace (theoretically, of course) as he loves it himself. Just comes down to whether Blake has some consistency with his shots -- as you and others have pointed out.

Anyway, would love to see a competitive slugfest.

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 03:00 PM

Skip1515,
Tonight we will find out if James can play controlled tennis against Juan Martin.

Ross,
Her name is Chris McKendry. Besides being a studio host, I think she did reporting on all sports at different locations(ie - football stadiums).

Posted by robbyfan 01/19/2010 at 03:02 PM

I can't get the link to Competitive Spin to open. Can anyone else?

Posted by robbyfan 01/19/2010 at 03:02 PM

sorry-Daily spin

Posted by mcakron 01/19/2010 at 03:04 PM

Ross -- McKendry. She's been doing morning SportsCenter for years. I've always liked her because she avoids the usual "look at me!" mentality that afflicts many of their anchors; i.e., she's refreshingly low-key.

Anyway, seems like she's still finding her a feet a bit at the AO, but she's a definite improvement over the USO's Hannah Storm.

Posted by karin1492 01/19/2010 at 03:07 PM

Nadal also has the same record as Serena in the first round of Slams. He's never lost in the first round, he's 23/0 after Monday. Say what you will, it's an incredible feat not to get beaten in the early round at slams when you're younger. Especially since Nadal's first match at a Grand Slam was against Mario Ancic in Wimbledon in 2003.

Posted by Peg 01/19/2010 at 03:11 PM

AO officials investigating the Daniel-spectator incident:
http://tinyurl.com/ydtouef
I haven't seen anything on what triggered the altercation

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:13 PM

karin1492 Yes a great feat by Rafa,also considering his age when he entered the ATP tour.


Reading from Fox sports news today.

Alicia Molik who I thought would win her match as she was serving for it,being up a set said after her defeat by Julie Coin

"My mind started to wander and think about the locker room,shower etc" She said a very poor excuse,like some young rookie out there.Alicia is 28 years old.

Posted by Sherlock 01/19/2010 at 03:16 PM

"I've always liked her because she avoids the usual "look at me!" mentality that afflicts many of their anchors; i.e., she's refreshingly low-key."

Amen, mcakron!! So many of their anchors drive me nuts. She's really good.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:17 PM

Peg Thanks for that link,I didnt know about that rule.I know in horse racing when a jockey gets off his horse after a race and goes into get weighed,noone is allowed to touch them.

Posted by VC 01/19/2010 at 03:17 PM

Karen : I agree. It's an impressive stat because players have to negotiate tough draws at the start of their careers. Nadal hasn't lost a 1R GS match in his career either. Evert's SF stats are also pretty unbelievable.

Posted by Sherlock 01/19/2010 at 03:17 PM

AM, she served for the match??? :(( I just saw the score. Haven't heard any details. What a shame.

Anyway, I have to run. Back later.

Posted by Ross 01/19/2010 at 03:21 PM

Thanks, guys. I also found this, in addition to a soldid sports journalism resume: "A dean’s list scholar for three years, McKendry attended Drexel on a tennis scholarship."

Posted by VC 01/19/2010 at 03:22 PM

Oh, I see karin1492 has already mentioned it.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:23 PM

Sherlock Seeing youare around I didnt want to post anymore details ok

Hey I can be compassionate too,well somtimes.

Posted by Karen 01/19/2010 at 03:26 PM

Nadal's stats are quite impressive as well. It really does take a certain amount of mental toughness to be ready for a major at a very young age. Can you imagine being new to the Tour and you are tasked with opening against a player who has been there before. Oh the shakes.

Posted by mcakron 01/19/2010 at 03:30 PM

Ah, hah! Good find, Ross. Well, I suspect ESPN is still trying to figure out who they want to sit in as female anchor when Fowler does play-by-play (or needs a break). Remember, they used Suzy Kolber at Wimby, and then H. Storm at the USO. Anyway, my vote is for McKendry. But I liked her better even before the tryouts. And yeah, now that I think about it, she was the first one to point out that level of play on a women's match had ratcheted up while doing a live look-in with Shriver and Mary Jo. Not something I'm sure Storm or Kolber could have caught on their own.

Posted by robbyfan 01/19/2010 at 03:30 PM

Who did Rafa beat in his first round first slam?

Posted by Corrie 01/19/2010 at 03:32 PM

Judging from both his actions and words, Federer is as motivated as ever to keep winning Slams and to put everything into them. But for the smaller events, maybe not so much. Though he did say he wanted to do better at the smaller events this year than last year.

I can't see what's wrong with this colour blue. It's a vast improvement over that yukky green of Rebound Ace. My only gripe with it is it's slow. It seems difficult to penetrate with ground strokes and serve. I foresee a lot of long matches and endless rallies.

Posted by VC 01/19/2010 at 03:35 PM

I liked the Rebound Ace green, both appearance and behaviour of the surface. Too bad they couldn't keep it due to the weather conditions. This HC seems kind of "generic" but nowadays all of them are. I haven't played on a variety of surfaces so I can't really tell.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:38 PM

Corrie I heard a interesting point from Kim Clijsters regarding the Plexicushion on our sports radio here in Sydney.She said she goes through more pairs of shoes with this surface because she feels its "rough underfoot",compared to the US OPen surface,she says she hardly goes through shoes.

Posted by izidane 01/19/2010 at 03:38 PM

Probably correct in assuming that some market research gave us the blue courts, but why so down on Serena. Like someone mentioned above, this is the Serena we see at most if not all one on one interviews as opposed to her demeanor during pressers. There was really nothing earth shattering about the match, so I didn't see the harm in talking about the streak.

Posted by mcakron 01/19/2010 at 03:39 PM

Corrie -- "Killer" Cahill made the same point about the slowness of this year's AO courts. Last night Andrew talked about how Andreev's FH seemed less flat than when he'd seen it last, but I wonder if it was purely due to a change in stroke or the court grabbing the ball a bit more.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 03:41 PM

Hello all:

I have to say that I love the blues at the AO, it's one of my favourite colours. Nice, clean colours. I associate green for Wimbie, Red for the FO, so we don't need any blue for clay. Please note, Evil Lord!

Posted by Corrie 01/19/2010 at 03:44 PM

Yes, and the balls are soft too, which makes it harder to put them away and end a point. I don't understand this mania everywhere for slowing things down and so reducing attacking play. I never had a lot of sympathy for Hewitt but I'm starting to sympathise with his outburst over the slowing down of the courts here a couple of years back.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:46 PM

Robbyfan I will have to go back and check with Rafa,I think from memeory his first GS was at the AO 2001? dont quote me though.I am just going on memeory lol!

Posted by Amit 01/19/2010 at 03:46 PM

Federer faced a couple of breakpoints against Andreas Seppi at last year's AO, in the first round. The last 2 sets were of the 7-6/7-5 kind; didn't feel like a 1st rounder at all. These kind of top-40 players can definitely push the top 4-5 convincingly. The way Andreev and the surface played yesterday, he would've given anyone a hard time.

Posted by crazyone 01/19/2010 at 03:48 PM

wacky.

*n other offbeat news from the Open, the match between Belgian Christophe Rochus and American Donald Young was stopped for 40 minutes after a ball boy wet his pants on court 10.

"The ball kid peed on himself. It was unfortunate," Young said.

"It took a while to replace him. Then they had to put the sawdust down, or whatever you put down when somebody throws up.

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tennis/player-fights-with-fan-ballboy-wets-his-pants-20100120-mje4.html

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 03:49 PM

Corrie I think the "balls" more so in the night air become heavy as well.That also happens anywhere else in the world sometimes in night air conditions.

Yes Lleyton carried on and on with officials regarding the Rebound Ace,though players did say regardless of the Heat Factor their ankles,feet etc were taking a pounding.Also with horrid hard courts you can get a lot of "skin splints" which hurt.

Posted by TennisFan2 01/19/2010 at 03:50 PM

IMO the commentators made waaaaay too much of Serena's men vs. women comments regarding her fine. Let it go already (especially Pat M - really?!). She made a big mistake, followed by the non-apology, apology but now she's headed in the right direction. As she said, "I'd like to turn this negative into a positive."

Can you imagine the WTA without Serena and Vee these past few years? I can't. While their contemporaries retire & un-retire, get injured, become #1 w/out winning a two week slam, etc....the Sisters Williams have played on and filled the seats.

Regarding the courts I kind of like the blue Oz courts even if the shades clash a bit on tv.. Blue courts work and you can really see the ball against them.

Finally James Blake...I'd like to see him make another run at the top 20. But if he chooses to end his playing career I'd really like to see him in the booth. He's articulate, handsome and brings some much needed diversity to the all white broadcast booths!!!

Posted by Tfactor 01/19/2010 at 03:57 PM

Robbyfan, AM,
Karin1492 gave that information @ 3.07pm
Mario Ancic -Wimbledon'03

Posted by Carrie 01/19/2010 at 03:57 PM

Awww- poor little ball kid. The article says that they first tried the blower but it was not working.

Very happy for Donald that he won btw. I don't think he will ever be the world beater that folks predicted when he was winning junior grand slam titles. But I would like to see him get a solid career where he can earn a living. It seems like he is maturing (and hopefully has gotten some space in terms of coaching from his family).

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 04:03 PM

I still feel that James Blake has a lot of good tennis left in him but do agree he would make an excellent commentator.

Posted by FoT 01/19/2010 at 04:04 PM

checked some of the rankings for the players in Roger's 1st round group

Hewitt vs R Hocevar #188
Davydenko vs d Kindlmann # 175
Verdasco vs C Ball # 129 ( by the way his next opponent is ranked #209)
Bagdhatis vs P Lorenzi # 83
Roger vs Igor # 37

It was a tough first round match for Roger.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:10 PM

Tfacotor Der to me I should have remembered seeing I have been on this post lol!

I just have been going through my stat boods here.

Many thanks lol! I need to get another cup of strong coffee to wake up brain cells ASAP

Also another great fact and record of Rafa's,seeing I have my stat book out on him

Rafa was the second youngest player to win six titles in a row since Andre Agassi set the record in 1988.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:12 PM

I would love Marat Safin to be a tennis commentator

Could you imagine lol!

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/19/2010 at 04:14 PM

Hi Patrick, I looked for Lorge's article and your comment, can you direct them to me and I'll comment on them. Thanks. Vee's outfit is really hot, I love it. I definetly getting it.

Posted by Sweet 16 01/19/2010 at 04:23 PM

Oooopsie, so this is where the party moved to, gosh, it's hard to keep track of where all the cool people are! AM, I streamed at you about old man and old dogs on the other thread (no longer the cool place, ha!)....

Sherlock, you got something against women who want the whole world to look at them, what's up with that!?! ;)

Who's this Gimeno guy, I thought for a sec I was beholding Hewitt!

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 04:26 PM

Samantha Elin,
Here is the link to Abigail's article:

http://tennisworld.typepad.com/match_points/2010/01/whos-starring-for-the-stars-and-stripes.html

Posted by Sweet 16 01/19/2010 at 04:26 PM

AM, I second that. The very idea of Marat yakking on little yellow fuzzy balls, life, Dostoyevsky, angst, sisters, bros, blondes (you are one, aren't you?)... I'd actually pay $$$$$ for that!

Posted by Mr. X 01/19/2010 at 04:27 PM

Hi everyone.
Well, i like the AO blue, Pete. It's different from most of the HCs, which follow the same pattern: blue inside the court, green outside. Dont get me started about the Evil Blue Lord and his horrible blue clay. Of course, that had nothing to do with the appearance of the court. We all know what's the only thing the Evil Blue Lord cares about.
Didnt watch Serena. Score looks impressive, though. I see Pete's point about maybe having trouble with opponents who can move her around the court, but how many of those are there? 3,4?
As for Fed, i understand he had ups and downs (not surprising for a 1st round match), played some good defense, and came ahead in the most important moment of the match, with Andreev not being able to make good use of his 3 SPs in the 3rd set. Also, it must be considered that Andreev is probably as tough a 1st round as the top seed can get, so i guess Fed will be fine.
Delpo/Blake could be interesting, but if Delpo isnt really hurt, i dont see James hurting him. Too inconsitent, and he will probably try to hit even harder than the big guy, and quite frankly, i doubt that can be done.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:28 PM

Sweet Sixteen aka Siggy

Goodness me I just realised all the "S" I have to type now lol!

Yeah Leonard is a Genious in the muscial world still going strong at age 74

Wondering what Roger will be like at the same age? maybe sreaming at his Girls on the tour

Come On aka Hewitt or somethink more refined as

Allez!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 04:28 PM

Sweet 16,
Indeed, the party moves on when the new thread arrives especially when the previous thread is over 2000+ comments. See Roger managed to hold off the lethal forehand of Igor and cancel the celebration of Marieev(Maria K and Igor)

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 04:30 PM

Mr.X.,
Are you going to stay up until 1 AM Spain time to watch the Hott Wozz? Queen of Nastiness will be playing at the same time?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:34 PM

Sweet Sixteen aka Siggy

Just read your post regarding Marat as a tennis commentator

No I am not Blonde ok

I am a Dazzling Brunette.

Posted by Sweet 16 01/19/2010 at 04:35 PM

Master Ace, just call me sweetie (you, too, AM, only one S)! ;)

Cancel the celebration of Marieeev?!? Did I miss something?!? didn't Maria K just beat Maria S? (Arrrrgh, too early for a martini, that I do know)

So... what do people think of Djoko's black on black? I've decided DelPo is definitely not my cup of tea. If it must be anybody other than Roger (sob), I'd rather it be Djoko than the tall ent who makes me think, shudders, NP's beloved!

And Roger's celestial blue, I approve.

Posted by Master Ace 01/19/2010 at 04:39 PM

Sweet 16,
Yes. Makiri defeated Masha. Makiri said in her presser that her and Igor going to make a big splash to start 2010. Marieev was the name of both players given by Bobby and 2 other posters yesterday.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:41 PM

Well my husband's reply when he saw Noles "wet look black on black with purple motiffs" down the short and on the top was,

Are all the men in the ATP today going Camp? LOL!

He still thought after seeing Rafa the other night he had turned Gay? LOL!!!

Posted by Mr. X 01/19/2010 at 04:45 PM

Master Ace,
Considering i stood uo till around 4 AM yesterday, it's not a very difficult thing. I dont have problems to stay up pretty late. The problems come when i have to wake up in the morning:)
So, yes, i'll be watching the Hott Woz. Hope Stella behaves. However, Naranjito's match falls right into my sleeping time, so i guess i wont be watching.

Siggy,
I hear you about Delpo. I'm convinced he's gonna dominate the tour sooner or later, but i'm not sure if i'm gonna like it or not. The more he relies on his serve (which he's doing more and more, and which is the logical thing to do, considering his height), the less i'm gonna like it. However, i really like him when he plays the way he did in the USO. Those FHs might be the most spectacular thing in the tour.

Posted by first 01/19/2010 at 04:45 PM

Incredible gems from Davdydenko's presser from January 19:

-----------------------------------------------

Q. You are one of the favorites of the tournament. How do you deal with this? This year many players like Nadal or Murray thought Davydenko can win.

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Oh, really? Surprising, you know, these guys start to talking about me, because maybe now. Before, if nobody talking, then nobody scare. Now it's everyone scare. That's what's is start to talking about me and favorites and everything.

But it's interesting feeling. Now I feel like I can beat everyone. That's was these guys now, you know, something feel different. Before no because I know I can win, but mostly I losing against these guys. But now I can beat everyone. It's good feeling.

...

Q. Do you notice anything about yourself, that you're playing better, anything that is better now?

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I think start to play little bit much better volley to play. You know, if you see my match against Nadal in final in Doha, I start to go to the net. I start to make some points volley, make so many winners volley. Maybe a little bit better serve sometimes.

But try, try to do different. It's not only I just think about only baseline. For sure baseline. I want to be fast. I want to running fast. Like Del Potro tell me now I am like PlayStation 3 in London. Now I try to come level PlayStation 4, to be faster and faster. I hope I can do this. It's very important to me.

...

Q. Since you won the Masters, are you more recognized in the street? Do you sign more autographs?

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I hope not. Then is not so many like say celebrity guys. I am not Paris Hilton. I don't want to be like this. I don't want to be like Nadal, Federer. These guys I never see by breakfast. They stay in the room and take room service.

For me better go downstairs, you know, take breakfast, or dinner to go somewhere, not to be so much famous.

...

Q. Do you think players like Federer and Nadal have an advantage here because you have to win three sets? They always do well in Grand Slams. Do you think it can change something?

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't know. It's always talk about Federer, Nadal, Federer, Nadal. Yeah, these guys always come in the final, play against guys both in finals in every Grand Slam.

But who knows now. If you see Wimbledon was Roddick, Del Potro was US Open. Game is change now. Have top 10 guys is pretty hard. If you see Soderling was in the final of Paris. It's not always Federer and Nadal in finals. It start to change in tennis.

I hope not to be anymore only Nadal‑Federer.

-----------------------------------------------

Posted by Alexis 01/19/2010 at 04:49 PM

FoT, I posted a similar deal on the previous thread about the rankings of the players the other top players faced. We knew right after the draw that Roger had by far the toughest first-round opponent compared to the others. So honestly, it's still too early to judge the "true" form of the players. I mean, would Davydenko still have won 6-1 6-0 6-3 against Andreev? Doubt it. No doubt Roger was far from his best, but damn... Andreev was a big reason why.

And really, I don't get why a streak of NOT losing in the first round of a GS is that big of a deal. Sure, if you are a young player and not seeded, getting through the first round is a huge. And if you went 40+ GS without losing in the first round AND you were always unseeded every time... okay, that would be pretty big. But other than that, it's hardly worth mentioning.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:49 PM

Cilic is going to play our young gun Aussie Bernard Tomic in the evening match on Rod Laver Arean.Even though I dont expect Bernard to win.It will be interesting to watch these two,who are both tall thin athletes.Hit the ball flat also have good fast serves.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 04:50 PM

Sweet 16: Are you the same Siggy who was here in carnap's much lamented haggis cupcake days?

I like Djoko in black but don't like the shiney material.

Posted by lollipop (Flames > smurf?) 01/19/2010 at 04:50 PM

haha. i'm watching Nole's match right now. His kit looks erm..interesting. I think he looks gangsta..lol!

imo, he just looks funny. I dont think it looks really good on him, but whatever. the flames are rather random...and i miss adidas still :(

Posted by Skw 01/19/2010 at 04:52 PM

Gee does Davy have something against Federer and Nadal? He compared them to Paris Hilton, lol.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 04:54 PM

lollipop What is Nole wearing in the day time?

Posted by Sweet 16 01/19/2010 at 05:00 PM

Dear Lynn, oui... I plead guilty, I am that siggy... though I cannot say I know much about carnap's lamented haggis anything (much as I would like to)!

Mr. X, I fear that's the way of the pendulum swing. Rafa with his pecs was frightening enough (I know you are of a diferent mind here), but the ent... with all that raw power, le sigh. I love Roger because of the beautiful angles he creates with power and grace... with those puny arms... Like somebody or other said on this thread long ago, that might be Roger's greatest legacy, that he forced the next generation toward geometric, as oopposed to wham bam, tennis... maybe DelPo will prove to be the prototype, who knows. What I do know is... watching my Roger (of the puny arms) get blown off the court by the ent is not an experience I care to repeat.

Posted by lollipop (Flames > smurf?) 01/19/2010 at 05:01 PM

AM- not sure, but my guess is that he'll be wearing this:

http://www.sergiotacchini.com/comuni/img/team/djokovic/gallery/01.jpg
http://www.sergiotacchini.com/comuni/img/team/djokovic/gallery/02.jpg


basically, just a white version of the black one he wore at night..i think.

Posted by Mr. X 01/19/2010 at 05:02 PM

I love Kolya bringing his particular version of trash talk. However, he isnt exactly accurate. Sadly, in the last year, it wasnt Nadal in the Slam finals (except for the USO), but Fed was still there in all of them.

Oh, and one more thing. How could i have forgotten?
Go Marcel, Spain's No.13!

Oh, and cheking the scores, i realize Mr. Hopman Cup delivered at his usual level at the Slams. Actually, forget that, it was much worst than his usual level.

Posted by Arun 01/19/2010 at 05:05 PM

lol. I was waiting to see what you were gonna say re the Disco, Mr.X.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 05:08 PM

AM: I was sorry to see Tommy go last night ... couldn't believe it.

Posted by Mr. X 01/19/2010 at 05:09 PM

siggy,
As long as he does it with enormous FHs that make me go all "OOOOHHHH", i have no problem with Delpo. In that case, he's probably my 2nd fave. If he gets closer and closer to the Samparas way, for me, he'll also get closer to the Sampras level of appreciation, which was never very high, to put it softly:)

Checking more scores (and NP's match calls), that Gasquet-Youz match looks like a very good one. Meh, i always feel like i miss all the action at the AO. Having a Slam played on the antipodes isnt good at all.

There's nothing more to be said, Arun. Facts are facts. Maybe, we could recommend Miss Jackie to go for a diferent Gilles replacement. AM has found a new one already in Berdych:)

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/19/2010 at 05:09 PM

Patrick, I posted my comments. Thanks for the link.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 05:17 PM

Sad news for Cadbury choc lovers like moi. Taken over by Kraft foods. Sorry, OT.

Posted by Veruca Salt (Culver City's #1!!) 01/19/2010 at 05:18 PM

i always tend to think winning more than losing is an impressive feat.

Posted by Samantha Elin, supporter of all things Scandinavian 01/19/2010 at 05:20 PM

Notice to ESPN 36O, your comments lastnight about Oudin being the "heroine of the USO" were disrespecful to Kim. Kim's comeback win and her beautiful daughter were the true "heroine of the USO," not the hyped American who went out in the quarters.

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 01/19/2010 at 05:21 PM

"Having a Slam played on the antipodes isnt good at all."

heyyyy, we take offense in that! XP

Posted by mina (meanie and proud of it) 01/19/2010 at 05:22 PM

Lynne, is that true? aw kraft.

Posted by VC 01/19/2010 at 05:23 PM

I like that white Djokovic kit, as long as it doesn't have that awful sheen to it like that black one.

Posted by FoT 01/19/2010 at 05:23 PM

Davydenko is fine. He can trash talk all he wants (as long as he backs it up)...but he's going to look a little - uh - stupid if he goes out early. So much for people being 'scared of him'. At a grand slam level, I can't honesly see anyone being 'scared' of Davydenko until he at least REACHES a grand slam FINAL! There is a difference being hot in best-of-three format tournaments vs a grand slam. So if he continues to talk 'trash', he better keep backing it up. Sure he looked good in his opening round - but who the heck was he playing? Let's see if he can keep this form up throughout 2 weeks. It's not good to 'wake' sleeping giants up with trash talk sometimes. (just saying)....

Posted by Cotton Jack 01/19/2010 at 05:23 PM

Pete can't really complain about the shift from blue to green, given that that's what this website has done, too

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 01/19/2010 at 05:25 PM

I'm afraid it is true, Mina.

Posted by Karen 01/19/2010 at 05:25 PM

Alexis the 41 unbeaten run in GS first rounds is to my mind a big deal when you consider that when Serena first came on the scene, you had the likes of Hingis as No.1 as well as Davenport, a young player like Serena could have drawn either one. The SEWTA website does not give a list of the players who were ranked in the top 10 during that time, but I cannot imagine that it could have very nice for a young player to be faced with perhaps a top sed in her first major. That being said, since 2000 Serena could be called an elite player as she had already won a major and was on her way to being a force in the tennis world. In that regard, I guess looking at the achievement you may think, well she is Serena, she should be able to make it past the first round, but then you look at someone like Federer who some would say is more talented than Serena and it is only within the past 5 or 6 years that he has been able to navigate through a major and having a 21 semi streak in all majors in which he has participated. You would think that the first round of a major for a top player would be a cake walk but after seeing people like Ivanovic and Sharapova (both former No. 1s) bounced in the first rounds of recent majors, it does make you realise that it is not easy to have accomplished what Serena did.

Posted by Ren (nothing is sweeter than 16) 01/19/2010 at 05:27 PM

Federer has always said that he's gonna play for the coming years. No period as yet. The problem was never with him. It is with the stultifying insistence of many writers (remember his allusion to the media when being interviewed?)about what they think he thinks, or what they like to believe he is. Despite the full proof that this guy is still in finals after finals in slams, people still think that he's a has been, an unmotivated consumed and aging champion. And when he just disproves everybody, people again will be thinking FOR him, and yet they never listened to what he is/was saying. Ahh..these blunders and baloneys! Just sickening, man!

Posted by sod'sfriend 01/19/2010 at 05:28 PM

"I still cant get my hear around the defeat of Molik,I went to bed when she was about to start serving for the match,geez."

aussiemarg, makes 2 of us. i went to bed last night with soderling leading 2 sets against grannola-bar and about 3-3 in 3rd, woke up and he lost in 5.

go figure!

Posted by Cotton Jack 01/19/2010 at 05:28 PM

Obviously I meant:

Pete can't really complain about the shift to blue from green, given that that's what this website has done, too

doh

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 01/19/2010 at 05:29 PM

As I did post atfer Tommys "Let Down" coming from his amazing win,where he Single Handed Won the Hopman Cup for Spain

Regardless as some posters here think its a Mickey Mouse event

I blam this totally on Psapce

Who single handed got back some type of revenge after My Tommy smacked his British Butt in the final of the Hopman Cup.

As anyone he knows players can suffer a "Let Down" after winning.

I am planning my revengs

As I said to my Dear Pspace last night

He Who Laughs Lasts????

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