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Give Me More. Enough! 10/20/2010 - 11:33 AM

105204821 by Pete Bodo

Yesterday, I listed five things I'd like to see more of before we call it quits for the year. Today, I'm going to focus on five things of which I've had enough for one year, perhaps even time immemorial, otherwise known as that long period between the resolution of the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

As I'm heading off for a week in Montana tomorrow, with no access to any sort of electronics (other than a hand-held GPS), let's get right to it. And don't worry, you'll have a fresh table set for your comments here each day while I am away, although the post might be a simple, repeated "vacation message."

5. Images of Rafael Nadal throwing his celebratory uppercut, knee up around his waist. It seems that photo editors never get tired of that shot, anymore than they do of the trophy-biting photo. I don't mind the latter so much. Sure, it's outlived its use-by date, but it's also become a tradition with Rafa so, as old hat at it may seem, it's appropriate. Rafa is biting another trophy. All is well in the world.

The uppercut photo is something different, and it tends to hammer away at the theme that Rafa is a young bull with a muscular, knockout game. This is still in some measure true, but it reinforces the cliché, still popular in some quarters, that Rafa is little more than a bull—a specimen. And that simplistic take was pulverized some time ago. So I say, bring on images of Rafa hitting the sliced backhand; making a desperate forehand scoop return while running toward the parking lot with his back to the net; throwing in the drop shot, which he hits with what always seemed to me a smidgen of reluctance. It's like he's thinking, I can't quite believe I'm actually doing this. . .Uncle Toni is going to kill me!

4. The great Williams sisters debate. You know, the one where one camp denounces them as gifted, arrogant opportunists bringing tennis into ill repute with their independent, self-serving actions and attitudes. Then their counterparts, veins bulging in their foreheads, respond by saying the Williams sisters are the best thing that ever happened to tennis. To me, both are in some ways true, and in some ways exaggerations.

That the sisters are great for tennis is so blatantly obvious that it doesn't even merit discussion. That they also, individually or jointly (none of this "you don't even know the difference between Serena and Venus!" business for now, either), can be opaque, imperious, too coy by half, indifferent to some of the more routine obligations of anyone who purports to be an "amabassador for the game," and maddeningly elusive also appears to be true.

But to me, the key issue is their longevity. Venus and Serena have had long, rich, productive careers. When people look back in a decade, nobody is going to nitpick their commitment to Fed Cup, the Roadmap, Indian Wells, or the player party before Wimbledon. Would we be better off if the sisters were more focused, their careers featuring a clear beginning, middle and end? I'm not so sure. Did Steffi Graf, who also had a long career but seemed terribly pained through most of it, "do more" for tennis than have the sisters? I think not. The record says that Graf was a more successful player, while Venus and Serena have been more successful personages—at least in elevating tennis in the general public's consciousness. They've done as much to further popularize tennis than anyone since Jimmy Connors.

The main problem here may be that many people, critics as well as fans, expect them to be more than what they are, or read more into them than the evidence supports. Let them be just what they are, the greatest sibling act ever in tennis, and perhaps the most amazing sports story ever created and told, going about their business in the way that makes the most sense to them. The truth always comes out in the wash, and it will in this case when you look in the record books.

3. Tomas Berdych. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and you're . . . Berdych! After those fine performances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Berdych has effectively regressed into the unreliable competitor we've known and liked, if not loved—a headcase. And to think he had so many of us fooled for a while there, with what appeared to be his newfound consistency, based to a large degree to the fitness work he'd been doing.

Granted, if we're going to let Venus and Serena be the Williams sisters, we're also obliged to let Berdych be Berdych. And on balance it's not such a terrible thing to be. But I have a problem embracing such a predictably inconsistent player, even though the tours—and tennis clubs and public courts—are loaded with them. In that sense, Berdych is more representative than unique when it comes to his profile as  "head case," and perhaps his biggest crime is showing off his spectacular unreliability on a stage which most comparably flawed players never reach.

Whatever the case, I've had quite enough of Berdych for one year, thank you.

2. Bag Check. How many more times do I need to turn on Tennis Channel to discover that deep within, say, Andreas Seppi's racquet bag lurks an iPod. Imagine that!

104043668 1. Vera Zvonareva, weeping, or looking like she's about to throw herself off the Brooklyn Bridge. Okay, Zvonareva's inability to hide her feelings and her willingness to turn on the tear ducts works out okay sometimes, like at the U.S. Open. After crushing Vera, Kim Clijsters got to play the Duchess of Kent to Zvonareva's Jana Novotna. This role suited both women to a T, as it sometimes seems that Clijsters' highest aspiration is to have people look at her and remark, "Aw, isn't she nice?" It sure beats being though of as a rude pig, I'll say that much.

But on other occasions, the weeping (in which a number of other players have also indulged) and general bummed-out-edness shown by some runners-up is inappropriate, mainly because it takes attention away from the one who deserves most of it—the winner. I'm not saying the runner-up has to stand holding his stupid crystal plate with a smiley-face icon plastered on his mug, but out of the respect for the winner the runner-up should always cowboy up as best as he or she can.

***

Have a great weekend and next week, everyone. I'll post a vacation message starting tomorrow.


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Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 11:47 AM

Youzhny w/d from Moscow. He's still suffering from infection he got in China (at first they said it was food poisoning)

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 12:04 PM

Nicely done, Pete. :)

Interesting take on the Rafa upper-cut. I'm curious to see the reactions to that one. :)

Good thing you didn't mention the lawnmower though. CL wouldn't be able to contain herself. :) Although the Yankees getting smoked again will help.

Poor Tomas. What in the world is going on there? I hope he can find the magic again soon.

Along with bag check, I would add another Tennis Channel frustration. The few seconds of anticipation when you enter the channel number, eagerly hoping to catch a good match currently being played at a fairly big tournament, only to see that TC is showing the Andre Agassi Biography for the four hundredth time. Seriously? How about actually having more live tennis on the Tennis Channel. Seems like a good concept. Or at least a Sportscenter type show updating us with the days tennis scores and highlights. That would be fantastic.

Ok, rant over. Thanks again for the good thoughts, Pete. And someday, I want an autographed picture of you and Clijsters together. :)

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 12:15 PM

"Venus and Serena have had long, rich, productive careers. When people look back in a decade, nobody is going to nitpick their commitment to Fed Cup, the Roadmap, Indian Wells, or the player party before Wimbledon."

Pete,
Are you sure about that? I think the critics will still talk about it for years to come saying things like, imagine if they were really dedicated to the sport, they would have caught Graf, Evert and etc... records.

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 12:16 PM

"Thanks again for the good thoughts, Pete. And someday, I want an autographed picture of you and Clijsters together"

Sherlock,
Be nice to Pete.

Pete,
Have a safe vacation to Montana.

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 12:18 PM

MA, he he. Hey, I love Pete. Just had to rib him a little. :)

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 12:32 PM

Ana continues her good work as she wins 3 and 0 in Luxembourg.

When Ana has won a tournament in the past, she only made the semifinals or better in the next tournament she played once. The one occurrence was making the finals at the French in 2007 after winning Berlin.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 12:45 PM

*shakes head at Davydenko*

6-6 in the TB against Cuevas? Cuevas, really?.... You better win this one, Kolya *sigh*

Posted by Caroline 10/20/2010 at 12:49 PM

Since Pete has given us the opportunity I am going to congratulate the most notorious or infamous weeper of them all. Roger plays his 900th match tomorrow. He has played each of those 900 matches through to the end. He has one withdrawal mid-way through a tournament.

Well done.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/20/2010 at 12:57 PM

"Did Steffi Graf, who also had a long career but seemed terribly pained through most of it, "do more" for tennis than have the sisters? I think not. the record says Graf was a more successful player, Venus and Serena have been more successful personages - at least in elevating tennis in the general public's consciousness. They've done as much to further popularize tennis than anyone since Jimmy Connors."
_______________________

So, women's tennis is more popular and has a higher profile WORLDWIDE NOW than during the many years Graf was at the top or near the top?

Does the general "public's consciousness" stop at the borders of the U.S.A.?

Posted by @work 10/20/2010 at 01:04 PM

ManuelSantanafan,

Hehe... Don't you know that the US is the World :)

I honestly think the Women's tennis was more popular during Graff's time but that could be my own perception since I enjoyed the women's game much more then than now.

Posted by Caroline 10/20/2010 at 01:06 PM

And a warning - if you've seen enough of the real Tomas Berdych do not read the rest of this post. Jarkko Nieminen has just consolidated a service break to love and is leading 4-1 in the first set. Stockholm, second round.

The only thing Jimmy Connors has ever done for me is make me want to switch off the television.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/20/2010 at 01:08 PM

A belated congrats from me to the popular Williams Sisters for having surpassed Steffi Graf's total singles wins on the WTA tour. Steffi sits at 900 wins while the Williams Sisters combined total is just under 1100.

Of course, the Williams Sisters still have a ways to go to surpass Graf's WTA singles titles accumulation.

Graf is at 107.

Venus Williams is at 43.

Serena Williams is at 37.

So, Venus Williams and Serena Williams only have 27 more titles to go (Combined) to reach Graf's total.

Posted by jewell - officially on holiday. Yay! 10/20/2010 at 01:16 PM

Hi everyone. :)

"This role suited both women to a T, as it sometimes seems that Clijsters highest aspiration is to have people look at her and remark, "Aw, isn't she nice?" It sure beats being though of as a rude pig, I'll say that much."

Maybe she just *is* nice. :) Or maybe she's trying to actually *be* nice, rather than to just be thought of that way? I wish I knew why you think it's more of an act, Pete.

Hehe, I like the point about Rafa's fist-pump. Funny - the picture Tic linked to this morning, of the Tennis magazine cover - showed Rafa in a similar beefcake light really. Not that I'm complaining about looking at it. ;-)

I think I've seen enough of injuries to last me a lifetime, on both tours. & enough of injury-faking comments, too.

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 01:20 PM

"Don't you know that the US is the World"

Lol, @work. Is that what the song, "We are the world" was all about? :)

If we had a true rival for Serena, the women's game would be great again. And Venus doesn't work because you can't sink your teeth into a sibling rivalry. We need Kim or Justine to meet Serena in a big match again. On a consistent basis would be even better. :)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:23 PM

"Don't you know that the US is the World"

:-))

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:24 PM

Count me in as one of those people who are dying to see the end of the following discussions on tennis:

1. End of the never ending GOAT debates. There are no GOATS. There are great players, good players, never was, has beens and if onlys.

2. End of the emotional tantrums on the tennis courts by players, especially the crying and calling out to the coaches box.

3. End of on court coaching for the WTA and shut up the commentators in the booth who want to see it implemented at the ATP and Grand Slam level. Figure it out on your own.

4. End of the discussion as to whether Venus and Serena are worthy Americans. They are Americans. Deal with it.

5. Specific to TW - no more FeDal. There are FOOPs aplenty here at TW. If you want to discuss how great Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are, may I suggest the following sites: rogerfederer.com and vamosbrigade.com

6. More live tennis on Tennis Channel. I am with Sherlock on the SportsCentre type programming. Task every single tournament director to provide TC with a highlight reel at the end of each day's play so that fans from all over the world can see what you have on offer.

7. Enough with the personalities in the booth doing commentary. Time for players who have actually accomplished something on the tennis court to take over the commentary booth. Fans were wowed when players got a chance to go in the commentary booth and call matches. They were insightful and knowledgeable about the sport and most importantly, they did not speak during the points.

8. Can someone please do an investigative report on whether racquet technology is having a detrimental impact on the sport and whether it is contributing to the numerous injuries besetting both the men's and women's Tour.

I am sure I can come up with more but nothing just yet.

Posted by lilscot 10/20/2010 at 01:24 PM

Pete:

Nice post. Despite the fact that I'm an avid Rafalite, I too would love to see some of the other photos you alluded to in magazines and on websites etc. The upper-cut is used to death and to quote Seinfeld, "not that there's anything wrong with that!" You're right about the whole image thing. The young bull with long hair, bulging biceps, and pirata pants is old news. Now his hair is shorter, his biceps are more covered up, and the shorts a shorter. He moves more cat-like at times and less like a young bull.

These are my top five things I'm done with seeing or hearing for a while:

1. Commies declaring the, "next great one."
2. Listening to Kvitova and Azarenka's screams.
3. Taped matches on t.v. long after they've been completed.
4. People proclaiming Roger washed up and done.
5. Hannah Storm.

Posted by jewell - officially on holiday. Yay! 10/20/2010 at 01:25 PM

"The great Williams sisters debate."

The one I guess we're going to be reading for a while now. :)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:27 PM

I like your #5, JK :-)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:29 PM

"There are great players, good players, never was, has beens and if onlys."

I wonder which category Safin falls....

Posted by lilscot 10/20/2010 at 01:29 PM

My top five things I'm sick of seeing and hearing about:

1. Being subjected to Kvitova and Azarenka's screaming,
2. Having to watch taped matches hours after they've been played,
3. Having to hear, "oh, he/she's going to win a major, and soon!",
4. Any talk about how Roger is washed up and done, and
5. Hannah Storm...

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:29 PM

@sokol, I am so sick and tired of it, it makes no kind of sense. Almost after every win or loss by either player all you see is the number crunchers coming out of the woodwork. I am a big Fed fan and even I have gotten sick of it :)

Posted by lilscot 10/20/2010 at 01:30 PM

Okay, great, there's my post twice again. Man, that just Grinds My Gears like you don't know. Half the time I have to try and remember what the hell I wrote in the first one! Where is that little guy in the booth pulling those levers to make the posts disappear? :)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:31 PM

"I am a big Fed fan and even I have gotten sick of it :)"

:-))

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:32 PM

Venus just tweeted that 30 is the new 20. I wonder what 50 is seeing as I am fast approaching that milestone - LOL

Posted by jewell - officially on holiday. Yay! 10/20/2010 at 01:33 PM

"Specific to TW - no more FeDal."

I'll happily go with no more Fedal wars, but it would be hard not to discuss them at all, really. I still think a FOOP Amnesty Day would be a cool idea though. Perhaps we could make Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal spam words for 24 hours. :)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:33 PM

another TB for Davy *head in hands*

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:34 PM

Wow,wish I could see that match with Flipkens and Rezai, 0 and 1 in 47 minutes. Dang. What is happening to Rezai?

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 01:35 PM

Lilscot, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. :)

"I wonder which category Safin falls...."

Lol, Sokol. :)

"5. Hannah Storm..."

I wish I had thought of that. Well done, lilscot. :)

Great list, Karen! I like all of them, but I'd really to see someone tackle #8.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:36 PM

@Jamaica Karen, was wondering the same thing about Rezai

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:36 PM

jewell, you are on holiday. Good for you chica and yes a FeDal Amnesty Day would be wonderful. Perhaps we could do it during WTF and on a day when they are both scheduled to play. Man, that would be wonderful. They are both playing and no one can post anything about them. Hmm

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 01:37 PM

Flipkens won 0 and 1???

I like Flipkens, but that is certainly unexpected.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:37 PM

"Perhaps we could do it during WTF and on a day when they are both scheduled to play. Man, that would be wonderful."

lol
that would be a torture for many posters, I think it's too harsh :-)

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 10/20/2010 at 01:40 PM

Good afternoon everyone:

Well, I must be alone here ... the only thing I can say I'm sick of is the blessing by the WTA of on court coaching. And maybe some of the commies on tennis but that is easily rectified by the "mute" button !

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/20/2010 at 01:41 PM

Who says bulls aren't agile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWdCRdnmopg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWAIjYs9Lws

As far as their four-legged, also agile, relatives, GOATS; Pete would be well-advised not to annoy any during his trip into Montana:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/10/mountain-goat-kills-hiker-hazing-park-ranger.php

Posted by Caroline 10/20/2010 at 01:41 PM

Jewell, I think you're being a bit of a spoilsport on the Fedal Wars. I am currently working on a 6 volume history. I have various MIT trained mathematicians working on the statistical analysis and my agent tells me that he'll be able to get me an advance of at least $1 million. The book will come complete with DVDs of all 900 matches Roger has played and 500 (?) - sorry don't know that off the top of my head - that Rafa has played. Each of the H2H matches will come in super slo mo start to finish.

The retail price of the book has not yet been fixed, but I will happily take expressions of interest from any TWibers.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:43 PM

now, that Davydenko lost to Cuevas, Kunitsyn is the last Russian guy standing in Moscow

Posted by Caroline 10/20/2010 at 01:43 PM

Sokol, I am sorry about Davydenko. It's no fun watching a player in such a mess. Miserable to lose first match at the home tournament.

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:44 PM

sokol, it would be like trying to quit smoking by going cold turkey. Some of them would just die. LOL

Sherlock, ever since JMac made the point that the strings that they are using contribute somewhat to the injury situation, I have been doing a bit of research on line about this. I am an amateur player and while I cannot say that I am an expert, I am very much interested in the strings that are being used now. It just seems so bizarre to me that a player can stand 6 feet behind the baseline and hit a ball that is 4 inches in diameter with a racquet that is about 8.5 inches in diameter with the force at which these players hit the ball and the ball lands inside the court.

They call it top spin, but it just seems like so much more to me. In addition to all that top spin that is being generated, from watching matches you see players shaking their shoulders, wrists, hands and other parts of their torso especially when they have to defend against shots from people like DelPo, Berdych, Nadal, Stosur, and many others.

These days when the trainer comes out on court for MTOs you see the players with all parts of their body with kinesio tape on the shoulders, back, arms, wrists etc. It is either that the ball is being hit with incredible pace or the strings that they are using keeps the ball on the racquet so long that it is jarring the muscles and tendons of the players.

I hope anyone here who knows more about this can comment but it does seem a bit bizarre to me right now and a growing problem for the Tours.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/20/2010 at 01:44 PM

"So, women's tennis is more popular and has a higher profile WORLDWIDE NOW than during the many years Graf was at the top or near the top?"

manuelsantanafan,
The Williams sisters can be credited with introducing the game of tennis to a more diverse audience, ie bringing in fans who might not otherwise have watched tennis. To survive in the U.S., I believe tennis needs to cultivate interest outside of it's traditional (and diminishing) demographic. Times a changin'.

Posted by Sherlock 10/20/2010 at 01:47 PM

"Each of the H2H matches will come in super slo mo start to finish."

Lol! Great post, Caroline. :) Frame-by-frame Fedal wars. Woo hoo!

Posted by tennisesq. 10/20/2010 at 01:47 PM

Ack, it's = its.

I committed my own pet peeve.

Posted by jewell - officially on holiday. Yay! 10/20/2010 at 01:48 PM

LOL Caroline. I'd buy a Fedal history ok, especially one with all those DVDs! It's only the fan war part that occasionally burns me out. :)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:49 PM

"Perhaps we could do it during WTF and on a day when they are both scheduled to play. Man, that would be wonderful."

Indeed :-((

Posted by Jamaica Karen (getting ready to leave again) 10/20/2010 at 01:50 PM

tennisesq, funny you should mention the whole popularity issue. I recently wrote an article on the future of the WTA and made mention of the lack of diversity at the top of the sport right now.

If you have a minute, you can read it here

http://tennisontv.blogspot.com/

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:50 PM

oops... my copying, pasting skills failed me, meant this :

"Miserable to lose first match at the home tournament."

Indeed
-----------------------

Posted by Arun 10/20/2010 at 01:51 PM

You're on holiday, jewell? Have fun.

Posted by jewell - officially on holiday. Yay! 10/20/2010 at 01:55 PM

Sad for Kolya...this really should be his time. Real shame he picked up that injury.

Karen and Arun: I haven't actually gone yet, just stopped work - feels like the start though. :) & thanks, I will.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/20/2010 at 01:56 PM

tennisesq:

I'm sure that the example of the Williams Sisters has encouraged some gals and guys who would have otherwise not played tennis to do so.

I'm sure that the Williams Sisters have much attention to tennis.

How much and how much when compared to Graf?

I don't know. I doubt that pertinent reliable figures are out there.

Posted by lilscot 10/20/2010 at 01:58 PM

Sherlock:

Lol. I don't know what it is about Hannah, and maybe it's just me, but she's just so, so...annoying. It's the whole package. The fake voice that sounds like she's at a garden party. The fact the gets so many names wrong, and stats. The strange questions she asks. All of it. I'm done! :)

And as far as which category Safina would fall in to, I'm not touching that one with a ten-foot pole! That would be like starting a Fedal war, "not that there's anything wrong with that. :)"

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 01:59 PM

"which category Safina would fall in to"

not talking about Dinara, but Marat Safin :-)

Posted by manuelsantanafan 10/20/2010 at 02:04 PM

Those balletic, jumping bulls reminded me of a family cat who used to combo jump to the top of a piano by first landing on , then quickly launching herself off, piano keys (or the keys cover, when it was down).

Beautiful chords she played on her way up and down.

But, she wasn't quite as musically talented as the Horowitz of cats:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvapzt8FKLk

NP:

If, based on Tom's technique, I should have picked another luminary than Horowitz, please so inform me.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/20/2010 at 02:06 PM

manuelsantanafan,
I agree it would have been ideal for Pete to have supported his assertion with reliable figures. But, I don't think it matters. Both Graf and WS have done wonders for tennis' popularity. The more people watching our sport, the better.

JK,
Thanks for the link. I think we're usually on the same wavelength when it comes to our WTA faves and related issues. =)

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 02:09 PM

Davydenko loses to Cuevas, Berdych loses to Nieminen, Rezai loses to Flipkens (while winning only one game in a match), Wickmayer loses to Schnyder.
Some bad loses today... I hope Alisa Mikhaylovna is up to the challenge. She is broken though to start the match, not good...

Posted by skip1515 10/20/2010 at 02:09 PM

"I have a problem embracing such a predictably inconsistent player (as Berdych), even though the tours - and tennis clubs and public courts - are loaded with them. In that sense, Berdych is more representative than unique"

Sheesh, ain't it the truth.

[Of course, without that fact teaching pros wouldn't have jobs.]

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 02:11 PM

Doha qualifiers and alternates

(Overall Record; Top 10 record for Doha participant)- Tournaments won

(1)Caroline Wozniacki (59-15; 5-2): Beijing, Montreal,Tokyo, New Haven, Ponte Vedra Beach and Copenhagen
(2)Vera Zvonareva (46-17; 7-8): Pattaya City
(3)Kim Clijsters (36-6; 6-0) : United States Open, Miami, Cincinnati and Brisbane
(4)Francesca Schiavone (39-20; 4-7): French Open and Barcelona
(5)Samantha Stosur(45-17; 3-4): Charleston
(6)Jelena Jankovic (38-19; 4-2): Indian Wells
(7)Elena Dementieva (39-16; 5-4): Sydney and Paris
(8)Victoria Azarenka (37-18; 6-4): Stanford

Alternates
(1)Na Li (36-18; 5-4): Birmingham
(2)Shahar Peer(47-21; 5-9): (Finalist at Hobart)

Qualified but out due to foot and knee injuries respectively
(1)Serena Williams (25-4; 1-3): Australian Open and Wimbledon
(2)Venus Williams (38-7; 4-2): Dubai and Acapulco

Posted by wilson75 10/20/2010 at 02:12 PM

One player who lives up to the saying, "Don't believe the hype"- Tomas Berdych. Second round lost in Stockholm today to Jarkko Nieminen 6-1 6-4.

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 02:17 PM

Sokol,
Alisa answered my question as she is blogging from Moscow this week for SEWTA.

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 02:19 PM

Sokol,
Agree that today is the day for bad loss especially the one by Aravane as she won a grand total of one game and she has points to defend at Bali in 2 weeks.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 02:23 PM

"Alisa answered my question"

what question?

Posted by Honeychile 10/20/2010 at 02:30 PM

Hello everyone,

On my new Google Android phone, I can read Pete and Steve's wonderful articles, but I cannot view the Comment pages. Does anyone know how I can view the Comments on an Android phone?

One of the reasons I bought this phone is so I could participate on this blog while on the go.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Posted by Arun 10/20/2010 at 02:38 PM

sokol,
I assume it's MA's question at the bottom of the page.
http://goo.gl/dBgU

And why is Mikhaylovna=Kleybanova?

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 02:42 PM

Arun, thanks for the link. I couldn't access main WTA page for some reason today

"And why is Mikhaylovna=Kleybanova?"

that's her middle name (her father is Mikhail, so she's Mikhaylovna, it's a Russian name thing), full official name is Alisa Mikhaylovna Kleybanova :-), I know it's too long :-)

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 02:43 PM

Arun,
Correct on the question on the link.

Posted by JB (FOOPs unite!!!) 10/20/2010 at 02:44 PM

honeychile - this may or may not help, but for me to see the comments, I had to click a full TW link on the bottom; otherwise it downloads a mobile version that doesn't allow me to see comments.

yip if that doesn't help, no doubt someone with a modicum of techie / phone knowhow could help!

Posted by JB (FOOPs unite!!!) 10/20/2010 at 02:47 PM

berdy. sigh. *shakes head* i unpacked his bag, he's staying in my headcase stable.

Posted by Arun 10/20/2010 at 02:50 PM

Cheers, sokol.

Posted by CL 10/20/2010 at 03:00 PM

Sherlock- you read my mind...brief read thought it may be...re the Rafa lawn mowering AND the fact the Yankees getting skunked makes up for a lot!

I would also add Murphy Jensen to the list of TC things I would like to never see again.

But I hope they don't stop bag check til we get to see Fed's ...

- hair products - check.
- Copy of Baby's First 2 Years - check.
- hair products - check
- Men's Vogue - check
- hair products - check
- Ipod/Lady Gaga and Celine less - check
- hair products - check
- Variety pack of Lindt chocolate balls- check
- Blackberry(s) - one for texting Mirka, one for everyone else.
- hair products.

msf - musically speaking, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM&feature=related

Posted by tina (ajde, Novak: handsome and talented Balkans #1, world #3, Davis Cup hero, AO 2008 titleist, reigning USO finalist, cutest butt in tennis, rapper, the face of Belgrade t-shirts, Novak water and Restaurant - don't u wish your polyglot was hott like me) 10/20/2010 at 03:00 PM

What I prefer to call "Naderer Wars" - putting #1 first - are so tiresome.

I strongly object to on-court coaching and found recent comments by Gilbert and PMac that it should be incorporated into the Slams as well absolutely appalling. The self-reliance aspect of the sport is one of the primary things that has kept me engaged for decades.

I don't understand Tennis Channel and why it doesn't show every single live match, or how it can refer to itself as "Home of the Slams" - really? That ESPN crew, much as we all complain about them, blessedly sticks with live tennis all night long when Melbourne comes around and none of us in TW's time zone gets much sleep in January. Mind you, I wanted to shoot people at ESPN and at CBS for that bizarre USO final fiasco, dropping coverage before the trophy presentations - but hey, that's what I got in Croatia for RG and Wimbledon. Shouldn't a big, rich country with a dedicated channel for tennis do better than Croatian State television?

Posted by DeShawn 10/20/2010 at 03:03 PM

Way to go Pete... A Brooklyn Bridge suicide joke... Too soon my friend, too soon...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 03:03 PM

Pete Have a good break in Montana.By the way you do like your holidays.I picked the wrong career for sure.

Well I was sending Vera 2 dozen White Fluffy towels with her name on them for Christmas

Seeing you brought that up Pete I may reconsider

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:04 PM

TB for Alisa, hate TB for my Russians...

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:09 PM

wow, ALisa is 6-0 in the TB... one more point, please...

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 03:10 PM

Sokol,
The blog lady was perfect on 7 pts to win TB.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:11 PM

"The blog lady"

:-)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 03:11 PM

Just like to congratulate Victoria for making the championships at Doha

May I say I am impressed with Andrea and I love her b/hand

As most people are aware I am totally jealous of players with good b/hands.Though I can give credit when it is due.

Also I think I will stuff my plans of going to Rome Masters and RG next year and will travel to see Australia play in the DC

Only because of the Rafter Factor!!!!!!!!

Posted by Arun 10/20/2010 at 03:19 PM

Honeychile,
Try using the URL http://tennisworld.typepad.com instead of http://tennis.com. It should work.

Posted by JB (FOOPs unite!!!) 10/20/2010 at 03:20 PM

In defense of TTC, they're trying to get more and more live tennis. There's been a huge change / addition of available matches in the last year or so.

Part of the problem is getting the money to pay for the rights; as you can see, they've been successful in getting more and more 'real' adverts. We used to pretty much have viagra, eharmony and the man who wanted us to hang us upside down. now we have cars, tennis gear and chocolate! (ok, so its getting there...)

they've also got to contend with existing multi year contracts that are in place. as they come up for renewal, hopefully TTC will be able to scoop them up. if the tourney directors and ATP are smart, they will encourage this, even if in the short term they may short themselves on payments; as getting their tourney out there on more tvs has got to be better than have it buried in some local markets between high school hockey games. (IW and FSN relationship comes to mind...)

SO.

its getting better. and they should be able to snowball into getting more rights. be interesting too to see the outcome of the tennis channel / comcast fite over comcast's golf channel being standard far, and tennis channel bundled in with football. (now THERE's 2 similar sports, no?)

Posted by Ivo 10/20/2010 at 03:20 PM

Pete,
I've always had the feeling that of all those players that you could pick on in terms of talent/inconsistency, Berdych somehow bothers you the most. You have been very consistent (unlike Berdych) in your posts when it comes to him - always negative; that is true for podcasts as well. As you've been always consistent in giving American players more respect and due than they deserve - how many times have i heard about John Isner, Querry etc. despite these players being actually as interesting as any other players who managed to be in the top-30. They win here and there, they are solid but they are no where more interesting to me than Ivo Karlovic:). If I had a choice I'd say: nuff of that too! Nuff of Pete Bodo's articles on the new and upcoming generation of American tennis players, of the good blue collar workers' mentality of John Isner, Querry or Roddick:). Is it only me who thinks that Querry and Isner get only so much attention because American tennis, and by default your job, is actually in a horrible recession on the men's side?

I am also curious why yo don't pick on people such as Monfils, Gasquet, Bake etc. all the other headcases with lot's of talent you can think of. There's something which irritates you about Berdych, and it's not exactly tennis.
I agree with you that Berdych is a headcase...but that's all...he is in many ways a similar headcase as James Blake...who is also talented in his own way, very athletic and yet plays plain stupid tennis (though I like to watch him just for the way he knows how to self-destruct). And unlike Berdych, he didn't make it into a semifinal or final of a GS. And yet I cannot imagine you write anything similar about James (I admit though that James did suffer from injuries which partially pardons him in terms of his achievements, but not in terms of the way he plays).

The good thing is that Berdych, despite his horrible slump again, might actually make it to London. and if he does, he's going to irritate you further - for that guy tends to play big and well against those who he's not supposed to beat, while he plays poorly against anybody else.
Looking forward to it...toward Berdych making a big bang in London:).

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:25 PM

Davydenko in his post match interview:
"When you lose you'll start asking why this happened. I haven't made these mistakes before. I'm trying to analyze after the match. I'll try to think where I can improve. I don't know wxactly what I need to change because that was my brother's job. He's not with me now and I can't figure out what I need to work on."

He was asked about the new racquet and he said it's just the fourth tournament with new racquet and he'll need to call his brother to discuss what he needs to adjust with it.

When asked about the plans for the end of season, he said that after this season is over, he'll have time to figure out the problems in his game. "I'll be preparing with my brother and he'll have to find for me what works, so I can feel more confident".

Three times in his interview he talked about Eduard. I didn't even imagine that Kolya is so dependent on his brother, seems like a lot of Kolya's success is due to Eduard...
I hope they'll restore their partnership. Kolya needs to figure out what's wrong and fast, he doesn't have years...

Posted by Master Ace 10/20/2010 at 03:28 PM

Thursday Order of Play:

WTA: Moscow at 5 AM - K Bondarenko vs Kirilenko, Dushevina vs Vesnina and Jankovic vs Diyas scheduled
ATP: Moscow at 5 AM - Crivoi vs Zeballos, Stakhovsky vs Dolgopolov and Istomin vs Mathieu scheduled
ATP: Stockholm at 6 AM - Blake vs Bachinger followed by Ljubicic vs Clement ending with Kamke/Dodig
WTA: Luxembourg at 7 AM - Zahlavova Strycova vs Vinci
WTA: Luxembourg at 8 AM - Keothavong vs Schnyder followed by Ivanovic vs Parra Santonja
ATP: Moscow at 8:30 AM - Golubev vs Kunitsyn
WTA: Moscow at 10 AM - Chalvetadze vs Koryttseva
WTA: Luxembourg at 11 AM - Kerber vs Hantuchova followed by Dementieva vs Hercog
ATP: Moscow at 11:30 AM - Tsonga vs Troicki
ATP: Stockholm at 12:30 PM - Federer vs Dent
ATP: Stockholm at 2:15 PM - Becker vs Soderling

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 03:29 PM

Well being a fan of Tomas for sometime now I was glad to see finally he was getting the results.Maybe his new coach had something to do with it.Also he has changed to a Head racquet as well if that has some bearing on things.Maybe the weight of expectations may have something to do with his impressive results and then a let down.You know its hard to play at a high level in every tournament.Even Rafa who played 3 tournaments in Asia just recently has spoken about that very same thing.

Posted by CL 10/20/2010 at 03:31 PM

tina - well, I think that is giving ESPN a bit too much credit, frankly. Yes, they show live tennis from the slam venues EXCEPT when they decide to interview Serena about a match she had a day ago, or Roger about a match that is coming up, or a 'profile' of the 'next big whoever' esp the next big American whoever...all while there is good/great/important tennis going on at the same time.

The BEST it ever gets is the TC/ESPN combo...where, for the first week at least, you get simultaneous coverage of multiple courts. So YOU get to decide if watching tennis is more interesting to you than, say, watching Pam Shriver and Darren Cahill wearing funny 'Aussie hats' that apparently had cubes of cheese dangling from them, as happened a couple of AOs ago.

Posted by adicecream 10/20/2010 at 03:34 PM

I think the BEST is when TC uses the British commentators that are covering the matches. All tennis, all the time, and generally intelligent commentary.

Posted by CL 10/20/2010 at 03:34 PM

That is, btw, a hilarious and totally fitting picture of TByrd...he looks like a combination of a drunk asleep on a NYC subway and a Victorian hysteric who needed to just fling himself down to regroup.

Though, chances are it was taken in Shagnhai where he was having tummy troubles...or was it Stockholm where he was having Tispy troubles?

Posted by CL 10/20/2010 at 03:39 PM

sokol - who...that is interesting about DavyD and Eduard...clearly very dependent. But it makes sense since they have been together as coach/player since the very beginning of Davy's career?

Must seem like an abyss awaits when you set off on your own after all that time.

Posted by AB 10/20/2010 at 03:40 PM

I'll give Pete a pass on the bridge remark.

I think that players struggling during this part of the season serves more to highlight how difficult it is to maintain a consistent level of play throughout the season.

I don't have an opinion about the length of the season for ATP or WTA. My not very well thought out opinion is that there should be a cap on required tournaments if players are successful so that they can skip without being penalized. My thinking on this is that, the more you win, the more you play. And there seems to be a cap on efficiency so that even someone like Roger who appeared to win so effortlessly, ended putting on a lot of mileage in terms of sets played in his peak years.

So, I'm inclined not to rag on Berdych too much. He may end up looking more like a Nalbandian, with a block of time each season in which he plays very well, then meh, so-so, the rest of the time.

Last, interesting too short article in the NYT on elite athletes' performances in pushing past pain:

http://tinyurl.com/2b8kglb

I wonder if they there are studies that prove or disprove long-term damage by continually pushing past pain. I would also like to hear back from winners 20 years down the road if they thought the rewards were worth the risks.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 03:41 PM

CL I watched Tomas in Asia at one stage I felt like passing him a bucket I didnt think he was going to make it through his match at all.He was swaying at one stage.Also after he did win he sat in his chair for sometime

I would like to give that idoit umpire Cedric The Passionate? I say that very tongue in cheek he told him to hurry up in his service games

Cedric Tomas is always quick in his service games though maybe in that instance a bit more thought coming from your mouth might have been a good thing.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:44 PM

Just read an interview with Tursunov... I never knew he was married before, os maybe it was so long ago that I forgot (also possible)...

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:46 PM

"But it makes sense since they have been together as coach/player since the very beginning of Davy's career?"

true, CL, and it seems that Kolya can't imagine another coach for himself, no talks about looking for someone else... he wants Eduard back :-) as his coach

Posted by Darryl T Moore 10/20/2010 at 03:47 PM

Mr. Bodo,

You forgot to mention Serena's terrible attitude, both on and off the court. Tennis has (almost) always been a classy game, and, to be honest, she just doesn't fit that bill one bit.

Why is it that two obnoxious, rude, and classless individuals like Serena Williams and Andy Roddick get a free pass for their childish behaviour? -is growing US popularity at the expense of class really a good trade-off?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 03:52 PM

sokol I hope the camera will still flash to Irina in Kolya's games she does wear hats well.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:53 PM

lol, AM

Posted by The Court Jester 10/20/2010 at 03:56 PM

Critiquing the way the media portrays Rafa celebratory moments? I don't know whether to laugh or feeled creeped out; in a celebrity-stalker kind of way.

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 03:58 PM

good job, Alisa!
Now I hope Vika loses in her next match. She already qualified for Doha and needs to prepare for it. Plus I want Alisa to do well in home tournament.

Posted by CL 10/20/2010 at 04:01 PM

Aussiemarge - yeah...it looked like we were in for another 'Sampras at the USO vs. Coretja' moment. And just like then didn't Tomas actually win that match? Though he then went on to lose in the next round, IIRC.

sokol - hard to imagine Davy being able to get comfy and trusting with anyone else this late in his career. I guess he just has to secretly hope that PhillyD doesn't do well and Eduard comes back to help right the ship.

Posted by tennisesq. 10/20/2010 at 04:03 PM

Serena gets a free pass for "childish behavior"?

In what universe does this occur?

Posted by sokol 10/20/2010 at 04:03 PM

"I guess he just has to secretly hope that PhillyD doesn't do well and Eduard comes back to help right the ship."

lol, CL
so far the young Davydenko didn't show any good results, so there is hope for Kolya :-)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President.Yes Indeed I am A One Woman Show 10/20/2010 at 04:04 PM

Arun Congrats to India in the one day cricket match.Like we cant even win one dayers either like pfft.

Posted by Aube,the goal is to hoax my mind into a state of no thinking!!! 10/20/2010 at 04:25 PM

Hi everyone,
There's only one thing that bothers me in the tennis world:
The fact that people will have all the breaks for the players they like and throw the book of punishment on the ones they wish never even existed...other than that Tennis entertains me big time Pete!!!

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