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Testing the Bounce 06/15/2010 - 5:04 PM

102103155

by Pete Bodo

This afternoon, I attended a luncheon given by at the New York headquarters of the international Paul/Weiss law firm, where John P. McEnroe was a partner for over 25 years and today is "of counsel" (I think that means he's retired). The firm hosted a reading and book signing session by Patrick McEnroe, from his newly published book, Hardcourt Confidential: Tales from Twenty Years in the Pro Tennis Trenches. As many of you know, I was Patrick's co-author.

Over the coming days, I'll be cherry-picking portions of the book because of their relevance to Wimbledon - about which Pat has quite a bit to say. Yesterday, Pat taped a segment for the Charlie Rose show, and next Tuesday he's going to be on the Imus show; they're just part of his extensive promotional tour. Many people don't know it, but Patrick worked as a sportscaster for Imus years ago, when he was fresh off the tour. He ended up quitting - on air. He just took off the headphones and up and walked out. I understand Imus, who's not exactly known for his sensitivity, is miffed that in his book, Pat called Imus's wife a "pain in the *ss." So we could have some fireworks in store. Pat will be doing that show from Wimbledon, as he leaves for London on Friday.

Here's a snippet from Pat's chapter on Wimbledon:

Cover.HardcourtConfidential On the first day of Wimbledon, I always make it a point to get out hours ahead of our broadcast time, just to stroll around, breathe in the atmosphere, and check the lay of the land. 

I get there before the nets are up. The lime-green courts look pristine, especially against those green-black backstops and dark, empty seats. No matter how often I’ve done it, I always feel a little bit like I did on my first trip to Yankee stadium – and never moreso than when I walk through that dark little tunnel leading out to Centre Court, toward that gorgeous turf, tennis’s most significant quarter-acre, bathed in the growing sunlight.

Those first mornings I go up to the roof of the broadcast center where I do a lot of my work. The BC is a huge brick building on the perimeter of the club, overlooking Court 18 and other field courts stretching away toward the No. 1 Court stadium. I watch the grounds crew as they fiddle with the  various courtside fixtures, the netposts, umpire's chair, and fences and chalk lines.

But mainly, I’m waiting for the guys with the big stick. The one I call the Wimbledon pole.

When they arrive, the men set up the eight or ten foot-tall pole with a tennis ball balanced on top. One of them operates a little triggering mechanism, and the ball drops to the turf. Then they measure the height of the bounce. It’s pretty comical – just another Rube Goldberg feature of Wimbledon. Before the main scoreboard went electronic (and that wasn’t so long ago), they actually had a person running around like a mouse on a narrow passageway inside the scoreboard itself, manually (and frantically, over the first few days) flipping wooden numbers to update the scores for the spectators looking up from the walkway below. 

During my playing career, I had a little ritual; I liked to bounce the ball three times before my first serve, and two times before my second. At Wimbledon, I wouldn’t bounce it as much as have to throw it at the ground, just to make it rebound high enough off the spongy surface to reach my hand. In fact, on at least one occasion I decided not to bounce the ball anymore at all. It was a frustrating waste of energy.

These days, though, when the bounce-testers drop the ball off the big stick, it bounces about waist high, even with no force behind it. This change may have saved Wimbledon, which just about fifteen years ago stood in danger of becoming an anachronism – an arcane tennis ritual having no real relation to the contemporary game. Advances in racket technology and a generation of gifted, hard-serving attacking players led by Pete Sampras threatened to turn grass-court tennis into something like farce – a serving contest, with rallies as rare as bluebird skies over chronically drizzly London. 

Who can forget matches like the Wimbledon semifinal Stefan Edberg lost to Michael Stich in 1991? There was only one break of serve in the entire match, and it was Stich who was broken; yet he went on to win the match, 4-6,7-6,7-6,7-6. . . 

Some thought that the game on grass was passé, but apparently all those guys in the green-and-purple AEC ties never got the memo. Two of the other four majors (the Australian and US Opens) had moved to new venues in response to the increased demand for relevance (as well as seats) in the Open era. Significantly, both had abandoned the private club, and turned away from grass in favor of slower, more common and versatile hard courts. The British wouldn’t dream of leaving Wimbledon, the AEC wouldn’t think of abandoning grass, and on top of all that the players still were obliged to wear predominantly. Serves them right.

But time and again, the AEC has shown an amazing ability to respond to the challenges of the rapidly moving Open era without throwing out the baby of tradition with the bathwater. And what steps the AEC took to tweak their tournament were always examined from all points-of-view, mulled over, analyzed, and thought-out with patience that could easily be mistaken for reluctance. Decision making at Wimbledon, whether it concerned the composition of the courts, the new Millenium building, or the retractable roof, breathed new meaning into the words, due diligence. The one word you’d never, ever associate with the Lords of Wimbledon is “panic.” 

So, just as the “grass is dead” movement reached a fevered pitch, the tournament was already considering - and making - the changes that would radically transform Wimbledon’s lawns, and the way tennis is played on them. The club is pretty coy about this, having admitted publicly only to ripping out the mixed strains of grass in favor of 100 per cent perennial rye grass (a hardier, more durable grass) starting in 2001. But Wimbledon veterans, including most players, think the balls are slower as well. And many say that the courts are firmer and harder than ever before. 

Hence, the waist-high bounce off the Wimbledon pole.  

Over the coming days, we'll be looking ahead to Wimbledon. On Friday, I'll have some thoughts on the men's draw, and Bobby Chintapalli will be picking highlight WTA matches on the women's side.

I see that Kim Clijsters laid a one-and-one pasting on her talented countrywoman, Yanina Wickmayer, today at Eastbourne. I'd say that Justine Henin's oft-affirmed ambition to add at least one Wimbledon title to her collection is a pretty daunting task when you consider that in the past 9 years, one or the other of the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, has taken the title a whopping seven times. Henin has her work cut out for her. And so does Clijsters.


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Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:19 AM

Also the commies are in awe of the colour of Azarenka's dress

Go figure? lol!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/17/2010 at 09:19 AM

Oh who is Katrina? Colette I like your Vika reference, I think I will that one for now on.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 09:21 AM

Angel of the Surf,
Katrina Adams is a commentator on Tennis Channel in America. She also used to play on the WTA tour but had better success in doubles if I recall.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/17/2010 at 09:22 AM

Argentina beat Korea 4-1. Gosh there is some good looking guys in the Argie team.

Love Vuvu's dress. It goes great with her colouring. Doesn't Lucie wear that colour as well.

Posted by sans nom (Vamos Argentina and Allez to all the African teams) 06/17/2010 at 09:25 AM

4-1! YOOHOO!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:27 AM

gosh I hate head bands

I wish Azarenka would change it looks soo silly

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:29 AM

Well I dont think Mother Kim will be getting a 38 minute match

The wind has picked up considerably since Sams match

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:34 AM

are we supposed to believe that azarenka will be dangerous at wimbly???

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:35 AM

looks like tomic has qualified...and two more aussie boys could too...one is ahead of dent

Posted by David 06/17/2010 at 09:35 AM

Damn, Azarenka has a nice body. yum

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:37 AM

i like stosurs chance of a first grass court title...

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:38 AM

here that is...not wimbledon...but i believe she will make the fourth round at least and maybe the quarters...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:38 AM

Azarenka did well at Wimby last year,those knee straps are a worry

Though being on grass not that bad on the limbs

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 09:39 AM

Gliciouss,
Victoria did make the QF last year at Wimbledon and she has the shots to make a deep run. Wonder if she is finally healthy from the leg injuries she had during the clay season.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:41 AM

Hmmmm Stosur makes life too hard on the grass for herself she "over thinks"

If she can play freely get that 1st serve and her ground shots,ie f/hand will follow

She has never got past the 3rd rd at Wimby.So I will be interested to see how she goes this year

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:41 AM

if justine wins the title in ned. how much will that mean really???

Posted by David 06/17/2010 at 09:43 AM

www.twitter.com/MyTennisFilip Almagro 12 hours ago rolled out on a stretcher from cc Eastbourne. Now practicing as we speak. Quite an injury!

lol

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/17/2010 at 09:44 AM

@glicious, unless all the top players go out and she faces someone with one hand and one foot, that is the only way that she is ever going to win Wimbledon and I mean not only this year but any year. The best chance that Azarenka has to win a major will be at the AO. That is the only place where she has done reasonably well. The medium pace surface suits her game. USO is too quick, FO too slow and Wimbledon too fast. Her serve especially, even though she gets a high number of first serves in, it does not have as much pace on it as say Venus and Serena.

I think the same thing with Wozniacki. Only chance she will have of winning a major is going to be at the AO or FO, even though she got to the final of the USO. I think a lot of these young players just do not have enough meat on their shots to enable them to hit through the court and their opponents.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:45 AM

David What a recovery lol!

He has always been a bit of a Drama Queen in my eyes

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 09:47 AM

The American men are doing pretty well in the qualification rounds. Even Jesse Witten is through ; ) Come on Taylor! This should be the ideal surface for Dent's game.

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:48 AM

there are tons of the americans in the draw though...some are bound to go through...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:48 AM

gosh that man in the crowd with a Huge Belly should not wear a tight white tee shirt Yikes!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/17/2010 at 09:50 AM

Happy that Nico is not too badly injured. Ok I am off to bed. TTYAT.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela Miami, Stuttgart and Rome Doubles Champion) 06/17/2010 at 09:51 AM

AM I know he was huge, I pity the poor people who have to sit on either side or behind him.

Really off to bed.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 09:53 AM

Gliciouss, still, they have to win their matches. Tons of Brits in the draw, but how many of them made it through.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:54 AM

AA LOL! good night

Posted by sisu (formerly “just a note/jan”) 06/17/2010 at 09:55 AM

Good Morning everyone!

Rafa - “"to play well and win more points" that can help him "cushion" his lead for the end of the year.”

Did Rafa just slip and let us know he really wants to be #1 at year end? Good for him! About time he started owning what he wants!


Hope Kim can pull this off. Don’t care much for Vika-shrieka’s (good one Colette!) boom/shriek, bang/shriek game. Wish Kim would run her around more; Vika-shrieka doesn’t look like a good mover.

Annie, thanks for the articles on Rafa.

Jamaica Karen, congratulations! on getting your cable company to provide you with TTC. Had the same problem here and just kept calling (for about a year!) monthly to ask why they don’t have it. Finally got it but they charge an additional $6/mo for it (along with other sports channels that I don’t want or need).

Posted by Colette 06/17/2010 at 09:55 AM

Sorry, not to overdo, but sequel to K & K (thought of amidst work)

Ken and Karen sittin' in a tree
... watchin' tennis on TV

First comes love
Then comes forty

Then comes the break in this wierd-scoring sport-y

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:56 AM

Thanks Euro Sport turning off the tennis to go to a World cup soccer update.pfft.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeee!!!/We gonna see, no?) 06/17/2010 at 09:58 AM

Mornin' y'all.

Colette - LOLOLOL @ "Ken and Karen..." and "Vuvurenka."

Karen - Soooooo in agreement with you re: toilet paper direction!

And happy birthday to Miss Vee! Would love to see her pick up her gift in a couple weeks' time. :)

Posted by gliciouss 06/17/2010 at 09:58 AM

yeah but those are all wc ones...no one was expecting anything from them...lol
but hardly anyone wins three matches there by luck...

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 09:58 AM

Colette LOL!!!!!!!!

Well of course Rafa wants to improve his postion on being no 1 thats just par for the course.

Though as he did say in that interview that I posted he wants first to play at his highest level at Wimbledon

First thing first always for Rafa.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:00 AM

Thanks Euro Sport for putting the tennis back on

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 10:01 AM

Sisu,
Movement is not one of Victoria's strengths.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:01 AM

gee Azarenaka will go right off if she loses this t/break

She should have won the 1st set

Posted by robbyfan 06/17/2010 at 10:06 AM

This is wonderful! Andy Murray on the streets. How does he do that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYjFoCIfyAU&feature=player_embedded

Posted by sisu (formerly “just a note/jan”) 06/17/2010 at 10:07 AM

Thanks MA, wasn't sure.

This site really slows my computer down. :(

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:07 AM

Well Kim has had much better competition today

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 10:07 AM

How many set points did Victoria need before finally winning the set?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:09 AM

MA I think the commies said 9? can that be right

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 10:12 AM

Thanks, robbyfan. Cool commercial with Muzz.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 10:16 AM

Whoa, I didn't realise they play best of five sets matches in the final qualification round.

Posted by sisu (formerly “just a note/jan”) 06/17/2010 at 10:18 AM

Thanks robbyfan, always good to see Andy with a smile on his face.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 10:19 AM

And Kendrick forces a deciding fifth set in the battle of the Americans.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 10:20 AM

Aussiemarg,
That is probably right as I saw at least 4 of them on the SB when Kim served at 3-5.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:22 AM

MA Okay then.I was SB as well and missed the last few points

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 10:27 AM

Mahut was down two sets to love against Stefan Koubek. It looked like all he'd have to show for this year's Wimbledon was that epic qualification match vs distant Brittish second Bogdanovic, but now he has come back to force a deciding fifth set. Allez!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:28 AM

I wonder what tension Kim has her strings,she is forever playing with them between points lol!

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/17/2010 at 10:32 AM

'morning again peeps.

If Kenneth is still around, is the Susan he's proposing to, the Susan that posts on TW? Is this a romance born from cyberfriendshiptennislove? Oh it's exciting. I love real life romance!

So sorry to hear about Nalby and Ivo out of wimby. don't know what's wrong with Ivo but David's last injury that I was aware of was an ab tear like rafa had at last year's uso. I'll check around and see what I can find.

And yeah, this Kim's a mommy thing is cooked. I hear Fed's a dad and so is Ljubey and they play too!

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 10:33 AM

Justine leads 7-5,4-3 and serving over Kristina at 's-Hertogenbosch

Posted by observer (Go Roger, Maria, France and the US) 06/17/2010 at 10:33 AM

Wow, Vika is looking serious this week. I haven't watched any matches, mind you, just score boards, but an 8-6 tie-break over Kim C is a pretty good result for someone who is such a headcase.

Also nice to see Gilles winning again finally, no matter who it's against. Poor guy... and Tomic keeps winning in Wimbledon qualies! Is he in yet, or how many more are there for him?

Greece is about to be virtually eliminated from the World Cup if they can't get anything going against Nigeria, but Greek sports do have one thing to cheer about-- Eleni Danilidou double-bagelled everyone's new favorite hott list member Anastasia Pivovarova.

Posted by thebigapple 06/17/2010 at 10:37 AM

I am thinking Kenneth is cyberstalking poor Susan.

Will some-one sign on with a handle - Susan (Hail, no..Kenny boy!) - and settle the matter.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:38 AM

Commies were just saying Azarenka seems to be limping after that previous point

She hasnt yet called for the trainer,is she going to go on so close to Wimby

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:39 AM

I think Susan is playing hard to get

She hasnt posted for a little while

Good for her!

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:41 AM

Well just as I posted that Azarenka broke back,though Kim gifted her that game with d/faults

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 10:41 AM

I didn't know about Nalby being out of Wimby. According to the Argentine blog "Fue Buena" Nalby decided to skip Wimby to concentrate on being fit for Davis Cup. He said that between Wibledon and Davis Cup he prefers going for Davis Cup. Since he has played few matches becase of injury and has no practice on grass, he decided it's not worth the risk of further injury and instead of making the trip to Wimbledon he's going to stay home and practice on an indoor court so he'll be ready for the away tie against Russia.

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:47 AM

Azarenka with match point

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:48 AM

Azarenka d Clijsters 7-6,6-4

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/17/2010 at 10:49 AM

Hey everyone. :)

Hasn't Vika been to the QF at the AO, FO and Wimbledon so far? I'm not going to pretend that makes her a GOAT candidate or anything, but I'd say it was doing reasonably well.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeee!!!/We gonna see, no?) 06/17/2010 at 10:50 AM

Yay Vika! Also happy to see that Petvokic won earlier.

Nice interview with Masha from Tuesday's Guardian (apologies if already posted!): http://tinyurl.com/22tja6x

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President,Oh My its Pimms Time Again 06/17/2010 at 10:50 AM

Azarenka said she is willing to go through the pain with her knees,has to bend low.

Hmmm she will play Bartoli next.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 10:58 AM

Taylor Dent at one set all vs Ebden from Australia and in a third set tiebreak.

Kendrick lost his serve in the fifth set and compatriot Sweeting served for the match at 6-5, but Kendrick broke right back! 6-6 with no tiebreaks in the fifth set.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/17/2010 at 10:58 AM

Very nice win for my Vika. Struggling all year but looks like she is pulling it together. She is going to have a tough match against Bartoli. I hope she takes the title here. She really could use a title now.

Posted by Ross (FOE) 06/17/2010 at 11:00 AM

Well, Jamaica Karen isn’t the only one to receive a nice TC Wimby surprise. TC has always been Standard Def through my cable company (subpar SD, at that). Last night I decided to watch a bit of Sampras/Rafter and it was in High Def!

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:02 AM

Kendrick through as he took the fifth set 8-6. Commies to Sweeting, he was up two sets to one at one point.

Posted by Colette 06/17/2010 at 11:07 AM

This just in (from TW home page):

World Cup-inspired vuvuzelas barred at Wimbledon!

Who needs them when we've got the likes of Vuvuzela

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:08 AM

Three American men have made it through the Wimbledon qualifying so far, Robert Kendric, Jesse Witten and Brendan Evans. Taylor Dent in a fierce fight, but up two sets to one as he won tiebreaks for the second and third sets.

Posted by Annie (Vamos Heavenly Creature) 06/17/2010 at 11:12 AM

the Wimbledon fb page says it's nalby's hamstring.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 11:14 AM

Impressive result from Vika. Indeed, she did well at Wimby last year, just had the misfortune of running into Serena hell-bent on Miami revenge in the QF. Serena was in an absolute zone that day. Short of facing one of the legends from the past, no one could have beaten her that day.

Looking forward to seeing what Azarenka can do the next two weeks.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 11:14 AM

WTA semifinals for Friday

Eastbourne: Bartoli vs Azarenka and Stosur vs Makarova
's-Hertogenbosch: Henin vs Dulgheru and Flipkens vs Petkovic

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:17 AM

Mahut wins another big contest coming back from two sets to love down to win in five sets against Austrian player Stefan Koubek. Commies to Koubek and fans.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 11:23 AM

Who's this Makarova? What do we know about her? Pennetta, Petrova and now Kuz? That's not a bad few day's work. And she absolutely annihilated Petrova -- at least score-wise.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 11:27 AM

ActionFlunky,
I saw Makarova(against Bethanie) live at Fed Cup when the USA played Russia. She has a big serve which should do her well but movement is a liability and her groundstrokes also can be an issue. Also, she and her partner gave the Williams Sisters a test at the USO last year in doubles.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:27 AM

Dent fails to convert three break points but finally converts his fourth one. Serving up two sets to one and 4-2 in the fourth set.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 11:29 AM

MA -- thanks.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 11:31 AM

ESPN tennis expert picks:

http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/picks

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:37 AM

Taylor Dent serves out the fourth set to win the match 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(8) 6-3. He is the fourth and last American to make it to the main draw through the qualifying. Commiserations to Ebden and fans.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 11:37 AM

Hmmmmmm ... ESPN experts leaning slightly toward Rafa. Not a shock, I suppose. Roddick, I see, received a couple of votes. Muzz, none.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:40 AM

Thanks for the link MA. You would think it more prudent to wait until the draw is out to make predictions, sheesh!

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 11:42 AM

Hilarious Mary Jo picks Rafa over Roger? Jajaja...I smell a reverse jinx.

Posted by Arun 06/17/2010 at 11:43 AM

ActionFlunky: how fun it would be if Murray wins Wimny under these circumstances?

Posted by Arun 06/17/2010 at 11:44 AM

err.. *Wimby.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/17/2010 at 11:44 AM

Pam Shriver picked Alicia Molik as a Wimbledon sleeper? Sherlock must've been running some sort of campaign. :)

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 11:49 AM

LOL, jewell. I think Molik and Pe'er are the only real "sleeper" picks. The rest have picked Masha and Juju...*rolls eyes*. Ok...I expected something silly like that from Wilansky (who in the past has picked a mono-ridden Ancic to be a sleeper)...but the rest actually follow tennis.

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 11:50 AM

Arun -- yeah, wouldn't be totally shocking. I thought he played reasonably well at the FO (given expectations and bad luck with the weather/draw) and he's proven to be semi-comfortable on the grass. All of which means I hope he, Roddick, Hewitt and Sod land in Rafa's half.

Actually, Rafa will be deserving of it after Paris. ;)

Posted by Jenni 06/17/2010 at 11:52 AM

I just love that Francesca qualifies as an Early Exit. :)

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 06/17/2010 at 11:54 AM

I could see picking Pe'er to make a good showing, but the Molik pick did surprise me.

Hope Murray can start enjoying tennis again at Wimbledon, if he doesn't I think he'll be vulnerable.

Yay, Greece win at the WC finals for the first time ever! Really feel Nigeria threw it away with the red card.

Posted by Arun 06/17/2010 at 11:56 AM

ActionFlunky. ;)
Agreed re Murray. I thought he played excellent in Australia. He was in better form going into the final - I didn't expect Federer to come up with that masterpiece in the final, actually. As an aside, do you mind hitting my inbox at siucarun at gmail dot com (without blank space of course), actually? Thanks.

Posted by Papo (Got Nadal?) 06/17/2010 at 11:56 AM

Prove them all wrong, Francesca! Hehe

Wouldn't it be great if she goes into Wimby with the same form and awesome serve as in the RG final? Just go for it!

Posted by Jamaica Karen (WTA Rules) 06/17/2010 at 11:58 AM

@Ross, saw that you are experiencing good fortunes like myself. Great that our respective cable companies seem to be listening to subscribers.

I would prefer if none of these commentators pick my faves for Wimbledon. The less pressure to do well, the better. However, how anyone can go against those who have done it repeatedly is beyond me. For my money if none of my faves make it to the final weekend, I would hope we had a new Grand Slam champion, especially on the women's side. Women's tennis would then show once again its incredible depth, while the men would still be in FeDal land

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 06/17/2010 at 12:00 PM

No one chose Ana/Dinara as their 'early exit' pick.....I guess not enough of a surprise factor with that choice!:)

Posted by Doss 06/17/2010 at 12:02 PM

Carlos believes Henin will win Wimby. He is saying she has no chance to take the pressure off of Justine; smart move!.

Posted by observer (Go Roger, Maria, France and the US) 06/17/2010 at 12:09 PM

Love all the Maria faces blanketing the women's sleeper category on that ESPN link... hope they're right. Sad to read that the Serena/Maria exo at Cowboys stadium was canceled... wonder why? Those two would be such an interesting exhibition... I can't see either of them playing with less intensity than they do each time they play, no matter what the situation.

I can't believe two people were willing to put Kim Clijsters as their pick to win it outright...

Posted by noleisthebest 06/17/2010 at 12:10 PM

"I don't really like the way Wimbledon handles the seedings. "
Oh, dear, go and have a little cry will you.....

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 12:19 PM

Observer,
Was surprised at Kim being picked to win considering she has never made one final at Wimbledon. On the early exits, I can make a case for each player listed except Samantha. Yes, Maria and Justine being sleepers made me laugh(you should see later why).

Posted by Kwaku 06/17/2010 at 12:24 PM

I think Master Ace will call it "Rafael Nadal Invitational Part 2".
(If Master Ace agrees not to change his pick, we could start a competition to see who gets closest to the chosen name from now until he reveals it tomorrow.)
I suggest several names are allowed for one person, for instance I'd add for myself "Rafa Nadal Grass Invitational" and "Nadal Invitational Late Night Memorial". But I think we should not be allowed to say names exactly like names already said.

Posted by Master Ace 06/17/2010 at 12:28 PM

Kwaku,
Good idea about the competition as I will not reveal my name from Wimbledon until I make my predictions.

Posted by Pspace 06/17/2010 at 12:33 PM

Since MA has said it's not the RF Invitational, and MA is the biggest Williams sister KAD on the planet ;-), I'll go with Williams Sister Invitational. Or, S&V (Serena and Venus not serve and volley) Invitational or Richard and Oracene Chromosome Invitational

Posted by ActionFlunky 06/17/2010 at 12:36 PM

Pspace -- that's what I was thinking. Haven't the WS, technically, dominated Wimby more than Fed?

Arun -- sent you an email.

Posted by Kwaku 06/17/2010 at 12:36 PM

MA, and if somebody comes up with a name you prefer to your present choice, will you change your pick?
BTW, instead of tomorrow I meant Tuesday, which is the day I think you said you will reveal it.

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