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The Deuce Club, 12.17 12/17/2010 - 7:00 PM

By Jackie Roe, TW Social Director

Hi there, TWibe! Are you enjoying the holiday season or counting the days 'til it's over? I'm embarrassingly behind on my Christmas shopping and card-writing; that'll keep me occupied this weekend. Still, I participated in my office Secret Santa exchange and our local Angel Tree program . . . which means I've only bought gifts for people I don't know. Maybe that's the way it should be.

As promised, I've finally tallied the top vote-getters for our 2010 ATP Awards. The TWIbe has spoken, and the winners are:

Most Valuable Player: Nadal in a landslide, not surprisingly.

Most Improved Player: This was a tight one, but Melzer eked out the victory over Monfils.

Breakout Player: Another close one. Llodra came out on top, with Berdych and Haase tying for second.

Most Disappointing Player: Most of you agreed—Cilic was the biggest letdown in 2010.

Best Rivalry: Nadal/Murray by one vote over Federer/Djokovic.

Match of the Year: Nadal/Murray WTF SF.

(Many thanks to everyone who participated.)

We're nearing the end of December, which can only mean one thing—it's tennis wish list time! You may remember that Gauloises gave us the idea back in 2008, so of course I had to bring her back to continue the tradition. But this time, she's not alone; Gauloises and Jewell have teamed up to analyze their own—and each other's—tennis wish lists from last year, in addition to sharing their wishes for 2011. Enjoy, and after you're done reading, draw up your own tennis wish list for the new year!

DelPo Click here to see Gauloises’s 2010 Tennis Wish List.

Jewell’s review of Gauloises’s 2010 Tennis Wish List

Well, Gauloises, JMDP stayed alive, at least . . . but it doesn’t feel like a triumph, somehow.  All the top eight at the end of the year managed to play the World Tour Finals, but with injuries to JMDP, Davydenko, Tsonga and Gonzo, among others during 2010, can’t really say it was healthier. Looking on the bright side—Nole & Murray both made a Slam final and at least a SF in 2010. That’s better than 2009, right? (They’re getting closer!) Vika came close to a Slam SF in Australia, but I’ve hardly seen her since. Moving on pretty quickly from Cilic to Gonzo—I do remember a pretty good match against Andy Roddick in Australia. That’s it.  As for the triumphant return of a healthy David Nalbandian, well, that would’ve been nice. Where in fact *is* Licky? Ancic played 14 actual matches somewhere. (Score!) The WTA finals at the AO and FO were both fun in different ways.

Gauloises’s verdict on her 2010 tennis wish fulfilment

This is why bluffing the universe doesn’t work. I deliberately aimed my Delpo-related expectations low because at the time, it seemed like the worst possibility was that he’d have a slump and be derided all year as a one-Slam wonder and all-round disappointment. In an attempt to preempt the inevitable disappointment, I was a smartass, and the universe smacked me down. Well played, universe. Well played.

It's a common theme in many of these wishes. A healthier ATP? Please. Sabine Lisicki in the top 10? She’s barely played all year. Gonzo being his bad self? Hardly, and the dearth of epic, entertaining matches this year is not a coincidence.

Andy or Nole to win a Slam? As if. They played one good Slam each this year. Don’t let Jewell’s guilt-induced Pollyanna impression fool you: closer, in the context of this wish, means nothing.

Good things: I still believe in Vika’s winning credentials despite her turbulent year. Cilic did learn to string wins together, and he did crack the top 10—for all of one month in February. Nalbandian managed to stay more or less healthy, took a big title in Washington and put in some Davis Cup heroics, which is (compared to 2009) a reasonable year for him. And while Wimbledon and the USO featured dull finals on the women’s side, the AO and RG finals were excellent. 

Meanwhile, Mario Ancic has a girlfriend called Petals. Seriously.

Gauloises's 2011 Tennis Wish List

1. Breakthroughs. I want them, especially in the ATP. The WTA is never going to lack for character or interest, but the ATP is facing losing the Hewitt-Nalbandian-Gonzalez-Roddick-Ferrero generation over the next couple of years, and then where will we be? If you want a picture of the future, picture an ageless Fedal stamping on a faceless everybody else, forever. I don’t care who the breakthroughs come from—Dimitrov, Kontinen, Haase, Velotti, Kuznetsov, Krajinovic, de Bakker, even Berankis. New blood, please.

2. First-Time Slam Winners. On either tour. There are so many people that I would love to see nab themselves a major title. It’s too late for Dementieva. Don’t let it be too late for them too. (David, Jelena, Andy Murray, I‘m talking to you.)

3. Delpo. Trying to play the universe didn’t work so I’m going to come out and say it; I want Delpo back. I want him healthy, and I want him in the top 20 by the end of 2011. Just 242 places to go. Your time starts now, Delpo.

JJ Click here for Jewell’s 2010 Tennis Wish List—you’ll find it in the Comments at 1:20 AM.

Gauloises’s review of Jewell’s Tennis Wish List

I think we can safely say your Rafa wish was fulfilled, Jewell. I know he had his moments with being injured, but it didn’t stop him from dominating about 8 months of the year and breaking records right, left and centre.  As for Murray to win a slam—“closer” means nothing here. Universe says . . . wish denied. Team GB may have lost 3-2 to Lithuania, but they bounced back by beating Turkey in the relegation tie. To be fair, the Turks had forgotten to bring their shoes. As for Nalby coming back as a contender—for what? The always enjoyable “best player to never win a Slam” title? (Although there were about five minutes this summer when serious thought was being given to El Rey as a USO dark horse.) In the sense that Nole left it until almost the last moment to redeem what was a pretty lacklustre season for him, wish fulfilled; so it’s your fault, re: Wozniacki; JJ had a great chance at RG and muffed it conclusively. Hold your Ana wish for 2011, though she proved herself contender-ish at the end of 2010. I wouldn’t say “lots” of good, hard-fought matches, nor would say respect for all players was displayed. Better luck in 2011! 

As for no more Fedal wars—it’s a beautiful sentiment, John Lennon. Keep on imagining there’s no animosity on either side. It’s easy if you try . . .

Jewell’s verdict on her 2010 tennis wish fulfilment

Rafa’s year fulfilled every hope and provided a nice bonus or two, although I can’t say he was uninjured and healthy for all of it. Before you all jump on me, I know it pales in comparison to others’ injury troubles—but it still didn’t feel too good when he limped out of Australia. Wishes 2 through to 4 were a disaster, really—don’t anyone EVER tell me that GB should be just fine ever again, please—as were 7 and 9. Wish number 10? Cautious yes . . .

Quite pleased about Ana showing sparks of life—I take all credit, of course. As for wish number 6, well, I’d better just say sorry to Samantha for that one!

Jewell's 2011 Tennis Wish List

1. A “Rafa Slam.” Yeah, I know, it’s as greedy as all get-out, but I’m beginning to realise that when it comes to your favorite, there’s always more to wish for.  

2. Slam wins for Murray and Jankovic. Hey, it could happen.

3. “I don’t do down.” A little less negativity about, well, everything, I guess. I’ll start myself by going into positivity overdrive about the state of British tennis. Well . . . I’ll try.

That was fun, ladies! Your turn, TWibe. And have a wonderful weekend!

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Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 07:10 PM

Hopman Cup

Group A
Serbia - Ivanovic and Djokovic
Belgium - Henin and Bemelmans
Australia - Molik and Hewitt
Kazakhstan - Shvedova and Golubev

Group B
Great Britain - Robson and Murray
Italy - Schiavone and Starace
France - Mladenovic and Mahut
United States - Mattek-Sands and Isner

Schedule (WTA match followed by ATP match ending with mixed doubles)
Jan 1 at 2 AM: Belgium vs Australia
Jan 2 at 4 AM: Serbia vs Kazakhstan
Jan 2 at 8:30 PM: Great Britain vs Italy
Jan 3 at 4 AM: France vs United States(DELAY on Tennis Channel at 8:30 PM)
Jan 3 at 8:30 PM: Belgium vs Kazakhstan
Jan 4 at 4 AM: Serbia vs Australia
Jan 4 at 8:30 PM: Italy vs United States(LIVE on Tennis Channel)
Jan 5 at 4 AM: Great Britain vs France
Jan 6 at 2 AM on Centre: Hewitt vs Golubev followed by Serbia vs Belgium
Jan 6 at 2 AM on Court 1: Molik vs Shvedova followed by Australia vs Kazakhstan mixed dobules
Jan 7 at Midnight on Centre: Schiavone vs Mladenovic followed by Great Britain vs United States(LIVE on Tennis Channel)
Jan 7 at Midnight on Court 1: Starace vs Mahut followed by Italy vs France mixed doubles
Jan 8 at 2 AM - Group A winner vs Group B winner (LIVE on Tennis Channel)

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 07:11 PM

Charity exhibition matches to be on and ESPN2

Dec 21 - Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal at 2:30 PM(9:30 PM local) in Zurich
Dec 22 - Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer at 1:00 PM(8:00 PM local) in Madrid

Abu Dhabi exhibition matches

Dec 30 at 6 AM: Baghdatis vs Berdych
Dec 30 at 8 AM: Soderling vs Tsonga
Dec 31 at 6 AM: Federer vs Soderling or Tsonga
Dec 31 at 8 AM: Nadal vs Baghdatis or Berdych
Jan 01 at 6 AM: Nadal, Baghdatis or Berdych loser on 12/31 vs Federer, Soderling or Tsonga loser on 12/31
Jan 01 at 8 AM: Nadal, Baghdatis or Berdych winner on 12/31 vs Federer, Soderling or Tsonga winner on 12/31

Thailand exhibition matches on 1/1 at 5 AM

Bryan Brothers vs Rattwatana Brothers
Caroline Wozniacki vs Kim Clijsters

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 07:21 PM

Got any wishes for 2010, MA?

Speaking of breakthroughs, I've been waiting all evening for the rain-delayed AO wild-card play-off semi-finals. Olivia Rogowska against Sally Ferguson, that's how I get my kicks.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 07:21 PM

SOPHIE Ferguson. I was distracted by her enormous blister.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 07:31 PM

Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs:

WTA - Rogowska vs Ferguson followed by Molik vs Dokic
ATP - Luczak vs Ebden followed by Fenney vs Matosevic

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 07:33 PM

2011 wish is for the WTA to be more healthier than how 2010 ended but Serena will not be available until spring. Also, Agnieszka and Agnes will miss AO with Jie a strong possibility as she has not recovered from her injury.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 07:37 PM

"1) Rafa to be uninjured and healthy the whole year and to win a slam or two. Or three or four, I mean, I wouldn't complain...but one would be nice. I am not so fussed about it being the USO since I figure he's already won one on each of the three surfaces.
2) Murray to win a slam. Please.
3) Scaling back...Britain to beat Lithuania in the upcoming DC division 9713 match. HAHAHAHAHA.
4) Nalby to come back as a contender.
5) Djokovic to peak at the correct moments.
6) Wozniacki to be #1 without winning a slam.
7) JJ to win a slam (on the road to heartbreak with that one...sigh)
8) Ana to be a contender again.
9) for lots of good, hard-fought matches in ATP AND WTA, and respect for all players on all tours.
10) No more Fedal wars! "

You nailed number 6 correctly. I still will say she will get her maiden Slam before 2012 is over.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 07:42 PM

Totally agree, MA. On both sides, it would be so good to see the top, say, 8 all healthy and in shape to compete, but it doesn't look promising.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 07:46 PM

Oh great, apparently Jack Sock did in his hip during his victory over Young in the USTA WC play-off.

Mind you, the commentators did call him "Jake" Sock, so perhaps it's just a case of mistaken identity.

Posted by Ruth 12/17/2010 at 07:50 PM

I have just 3 items on my 2011 wish list, but I'll post more if I think of any:
1. Serena to return. Please, Serena, you may not be my preferrd Williams sister, but you've been on eof my Five Faves for years, and I miss your fire!

2. A big last hurrah for James Blake -- maybe a semi (or final) at the AO or, better yet, at the USO with the J-Block in attendance!?!?

3. Someone -- anyone -- to break the Fedal stranglehold on the Slam championships, and I say this as a confirmed Fedalist or Naderer-er who doesn't feel the slightest bit guilty about making this wish. It's time! (No, I haven't forgotten Nole's win. When was that? Can't remember! :))

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 07:53 PM

No argument from me, although the Fedal stranglehold was broken in 2008 and 2009. It's just that 2010 represented a bit of a step back.

Do you really see it happening for Blake, Ruth? I mean, he just looks so done. (This coming from the woman who wishes for Mario Ancic to make a run to the Wimbledon title every year.)

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 07:59 PM

*waves hello*

My wish list for 2011 is:

1. JJ and me to see live tennis
2. Rafa to win the French Open again
3. DelPo to make his way back to the top 20 -- and pick up his first Master's title
4. Nole to win the US Open
5. Argentina to win Davis Cup
6. Venus to win Wimbledon

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:01 PM

AmyLu!! How are you, and don't spare the details ...

Yes. I want your #5 very, very much. I want it so much I've given up wishing for it :(

I was just thinking it would be nice to see Venus winning Wimbledon again.

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 08:07 PM

Hi gauloises! I'm going to cling to optimism that number 5 can happen. I'm really, really hoping it does.

My class is over for this semester (finals graded and final grades in), which is a big yay, but I'm now trying to put together my syllabus for next semester. I have reached the point where I need to stop working on it for the day. I'm teaching a course I haven't taught before, that's not in my area, so I am hoping next semester doesn't turn into the blind leading the blind. :) I'm very much looking forward to taking a break from work next week. We're spending the holidays in Ecuador, which I'm very excited about.

How are you? Did I read correctly on Twitter that you wrote an article for The Times? Many congratulations!

Posted by Ruth 12/17/2010 at 08:10 PM

gauloises: When I threw that "or final" into my wish for Blake, I thought, "Oh, you idiot, a semi-final would be a miracle already."

I just hope that it was not Blake's insistence, against powerful advice, on staying so very long with the coach he'd had from his early youth that prevented him from having more success. Let it be anything else, I pray -- because I really appreciate the kind of loyalty to his old coach that James exhibited, even though I confess to being among those who felt years ago that he probably needed to start hearing a different voice.

Ah, well. He may have achieved his full potential, Brian ??? or not.

Posted by Aube,I hate the snow and these everlasting cold days,not funny!!! 12/17/2010 at 08:10 PM

My wish for 2011 is for Serena,Sharapova,Kim,Henin Venus all be injuries free...I need to know what they are really made of and I pray,yes, I pray that they consistently bump into each other in great tournaments and get mad when defeated!!!
Fury is what I pray for in the WTA,everyone takes it personally and give us their best!!!

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:15 PM

Amy, with a healthy David and Delpo it's certainly imaginable, but will that ever happen ever again?

Your Christmas plans sound incredible. Tell me it's hot in Ecuador. It's -8 here, snowing again, and I'm under a blanket with slipper boots and about seven layers on just to keep from shivering. I know this is rude and you've probably told me many, many times - but what is it that you teach? Remind me ...

Ha, yes, I did. Highly, highly silly and about cricket no less, but I've got to admit it was a thrill to see my name in the newspaper. I could seriously get addicted to this writing lark, if only someone would pay me to do it.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 08:16 PM

*waves hello*

evening! this cracked me up - both because its genuinely hilarious when gauloises writes for us, and because its so fun to look back and see what she and jewell wished for!

mhm. I think i'll need to think about my top wishes for this year.

this may require wine... :)))

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:17 PM

Blake is one of those people who make me wonder if there is such a thing as too nice to succeed. I don't know, he's got all of the talent - and clearly determination - in the world, but maybe there's a certain ruthlessness that's lacking.

Ruth, you should stop liking him, see if that makes him any more ruthless. (Sorry.)

AO play-offs rained off again in the first set TB between Rogowska and Ferguson.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:19 PM

Get on that vino, jb, my expectations are high ... :)

Posted by Ruth 12/17/2010 at 08:20 PM

BTW gauloises, I wouldn't mind if wished for breaker of the stranglehold waited until after the AO to do his thing so that we could have some history making from Rafa there.

First man since Laver to win 4 Slams in a row -- WOW! That would be exciting, not just for Rafa fans but for our favorite sport of tennis which, though healthy, could use a big publicity boost like that.

Posted by Ruth 12/17/2010 at 08:24 PM

Hi, AmyLu, your #6 is my every-year wish. I just love seeing Venus hoist that dish regardless of what else happens in her year.

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 08:25 PM

hi, all !
Tennis wish list time
are you listening , Santa ?

1) a new champion in a men's slam - I am a die hard Nadal fan - but I am ready for new blood at just one of these events

2) that tenniswear returns to being athletic attire - and the lingerie / cocktail dress trend goes away

3) that we hear no more about Fish's weight loss - actually , I could do without hearing anymore about Fish - but that is asking for the moon

4) That a French male player - pick one , anyone - finishes the season without injury and finally realizes his ultimate potential by winning a Slam , or a Masters . But Santa - if that one guy could be Gasquet , then I would be soooooo good for the rest of the year - that I promise I would not even mind if wish #3 were completely ignored :)

5)That Marat Safin would come back - cause tennis is just not the same without the big crazy Russian. a girl can dream , right ?

6) That Mahut gets wild card straight into Wimbledon this time. And that Isner and he do not meet again at that event . We just could not take another one of those servathons .

Mario's girlfriend is really named Petals ? you have got to be kidding me - that sounds like a celebrity baby name - like Fifi Trixiebelle or Pilot Inspektor

Posted by lira vega 12/17/2010 at 08:25 PM

Hello, peeps!
I'm not sure if I did my wishlist at TW last year, but I think I was most looking forward to Nalby coming back and wishing he'd come out with a new-found commitment and whatnot and take the ATP by storm. Quickly lost interest in most of ATP when it was obvious that wasn't gonna happen (Bernie's AO and Berdy's spring notwithstanding)

1) Fed, Nole, JJ, Masha, Vika one slam each
2) Aga and Steps healthy first and foremost, then a title or two + a Slam semi for Aga and for Steps to hit the kind of form he had at the fall 0f 2009. I'm at a point where I'm kinda worried about him packing it in and I'd like some peak Steps at least one more time before he's gone
3)Ju to wallop everyone on clay. Not sure how this one came about, but there it is...she just SHOULD be too good a clay-courter for any of the other girls playing atm
4)Can Kim go back to doing splits? I've found I'm not really much of a Kimmy fan without them
5)Chakky back. Some signs of life there this year, so all is not lost
6)And I second G on breakthroughs. Always on my list (Tomic being a preferred choice. I haven't been following much lately, does not playing AO wild card play off means he's def not getting a WC?)

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 08:29 PM

ruth - i finished pmac's book last weekend and i found it interesting to what he wrote about trying to coach / advise james. that he didn't take to change well. somehow i never saw him as being that rigid; but it did seem to explain so much about his inability to go to plan B.

ok. i have wine, now to figure out my wish list....

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:30 PM

You sound like Jewell now :) Honestly, if it's a Fedal final, I'm not really going to care one way or another. Rafa may as well have his Slam thing, it probably can't be stopped at this point anyway. And happiness will be brought to my friends who are Rafa fans, so it's all good (apart from most of it, which is bad.)

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 08:30 PM

gauloises, the sad thing is at the is point, I can't even say with any sort of confidence that I think either DelPo OR Nalbandian can make it through the season without being injured. I hope, though, that I'm wrong -- and if they do have injuries, that they're mild, niggling ones.

JJ's family is from Quito, which is in the Andres (it's between 9,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level), so it's not nearly as hot as the coast of Ecuador is. It's called the city of eternal spring because during the day, the temperature is normally around 60 to 65 degrees F (sorry, I don't know what that is in Celsius). It gets chilly, though, when the sun goes down, as the temperature drops to the high 40s. JJ warned me of that the first time I went, and I didn't listen and only brought stuff for warm weather. And was very cold at night. :) Now I know to bring layers and have sweaters/long-sleeves to wear at night. I'm very much looking forward to going some place that's much warmer than the weather we have here! And I'm making JJ take me to the "middle of the earth" monument. He's refused to take me so far because he claims it's tacky/touristy, and that it's not even set at the equator, but I don't particularly care. I want my photo taken with one foot on each side of the "equator!"

And, not rude at all, on what I teach. I teach one Sociology class a semester while I'm finishing my dissertation. I've taught Intro Soc three times, and next semester I'm teaching Social Interaction (dumbest name for a class). It's really very social psychological. My main area is the family, and much of the work I do is at the marco-level, while this area is very micro-level. I find it interesting, but I'm not the most well-versed in it. I am going to focus more than some do, though, on the interplay between the individual and social structures (and how race, class, and gender can impact/constrain/affect our interactions in daily life) since that's more of what I study and do.

That's fantastic on the article! I am assuming it's behind a pay-wall? I'd love to read it (even though I get positively confused by anything related to cricket). I'm so glad you had the opportunity to write it, and I think you're so talented as a writer so I think it's wonderful your words can be enjoyed by a wider audience. :)

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 08:31 PM

jb!! I saw your post on the other thread - yes just three months

now - wine is definitely in order
I would make a martini - but that would take too long
wine opener is so handy

and I forgot - I would love to see Rafa win the Australian - before that new guy wins a Slam - I agree with Ruth , it would be exciting for the sport and generate great media for us - if he could win that fourth one in a row

Posted by Ruth 12/17/2010 at 08:32 PM

I wish I could quit him, g. :) I've tried, especially dring matches like that USO quarterfinal (?) against Agassi. Even my mild-mannered husband started shouting at him in that one! And then to act as if it was an honor to lose to Andre. Pftttt!

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 12/17/2010 at 08:34 PM

jewell - Greed is good. :)

I got a chuckle reading my wish list from last year. Got some of what I wanted (RG and USO titles and saner scheduling for Rafa, Ferru back in the top 10, etc) and was horribly off base on other things (A major for Roddick? Health for Vee/Serena?)

Anyway, b/c I'm greedy that way, for 2011 I'd like:

- Health for Dinara, DelPo, and Gonzo
- For Vee and Serena, health and more majors
- For Rafa, another Australian Open title, no further hair loss or injury flare-ups, a better ROS, and an Armani ad campaign that does not include the kind of uncomfortably gratuitous crotch bulge shots we saw w/ the Beckham and Ronaldo campaigns (Mind you, I'm not opposed to crotch bulges in general; I just don't want to see that much of Lil' Rafa)
- For Nole, a major and Sergio Tacchini kits without illustrations
- For Muzz, a major
- For Argentina and Nalby, Davis Cup
- More tennis writing from Bobby, gauloises, and C Note
- Respectable network coverage of the majors (no more of that tape-delayed b.s., winners' speeches being cut short, etc.)

Posted by lira vega 12/17/2010 at 08:34 PM

Yeah, something shiny for Richie would be great as well.
And coming back to Nole open, by far most fun player I saw there this year

Also no rain when I finally get a chance to catch some live tennis >:((though, in all honesty, this wasn't a very high quality one).

Rogowska and Moore played some fine tennis few days ago, I figured this should be a good one as well...But seeing how Olivia was getting doubled bageled by some no-name last time I checked before this play off thingy, I guess this should do...If she can find the form she had against Moore, she's winning this thing easily

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 08:35 PM

Hi Ruth! I would love it if Rafa were to complete a "Rafa Slam," but I actually don't have it as a wish for this year. After last year, which was unexpected, I feel like that's wishing or asking for too much. :)

Hi Beth! Completely with you on Fish and Mahut.

Hi jb! My impression of Blake has always been that he's a bit stubborn. I have no idea if that impression is actually correct (and some of it may be influenced by commentators, including PMac), but I've always felt that was part of why he never went to a Plan B.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:37 PM

So much word on your French-related wish, beth! I'd like it to be Monfils or Tsonga or maybe even (whisper it) Benny - but Gasquet putting together a run would be such a great story if only for being so terrifically unexpected. And yes, Mario's girlfriend is really called Petals.

Hello lira vega! I too would love to see something from Aga, I've gradually become a bigger and bigger fan of hers. And there's no-one like Steps for flat-out entertainment (except maybe Gonzo). As for Tomic, I don't think there's a formal decision on whether he gets a WC, but the sense in Australia seems to be that he didn't play because he assumed he could count on a WC, with a bit of a media backlash against that, so quite possibly Tennis Australia will want to teach him a lesson.

Rogowska is up a set and a break that she is valiantly failing to consolidate after a brief rain delay.

Posted by sblily (Wheeeeeeee!/We gonna see, no?) 12/17/2010 at 08:38 PM

2) that tenniswear returns to being athletic attire - and the lingerie / cocktail dress trend goes away

Amen, beth. I hope to see no more "illusions of bareness" in 2011. Bleh.

Ruth - I hated Blake's reaction after that USO loss to Andre too.

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 08:40 PM

Hi sblily! I can't believe I forgot about Dinara. I'm a horrible fan. :( I so desperately want her to be healthy (and happy) this year. And, I also love your wish for more writing from that talented triumvirate.

Hi lira! Have you heard any news on how Aga's doing? I am hoping she's not out too long -- I really like watching her play.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:42 PM

Touristy stuff can be fun! I'd want to go and straddle the equator too. (OK, that sounded a bit dirtier than I meant it to.) My brother was in Quito not too long ago and l-o-v-e-d it. I need to find a nice South American man who loves tennis.

I did know you taught sociology and that you worked on the family, definitely. Teaching Social Interaction sounds great, especially the way you plan to do it. I could use a Social Interaction class ...

It is paywalled, unfortunately, but rest assured I am probably equally confused when it comes to cricket, so you're not missing much!

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:44 PM

I have to agree with your penultimate wish, sblily - I never get sick of Bobby or C Note's stuff and would love the chance to do more myself. And like you, I also wish Sergio Tacchini would stop illustrating Nole. He's not a teapot!

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 08:48 PM

gauloises - if Santa were to grant my wish - I would be happy with a good result from Monfils , Tsonga - even Benneteau . just seems they have so much talent collectively - one of them needs to come through with a big win .
and yeah - the Gasquet thing would be completely out of the blue
but it's a wish list - not a reality list , or a list of predictions
and the ultimate comeback story would make for great press
maybe then we would not be treated to the snickers every time he walks on court as the announcers talk about " the incident "

Blake - I cannot even muster up a good wish for him -He seems "nice " , but " nice " has never been my thing .

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 08:48 PM

oh my gosh - BENNY AND LLODRA!

sigh. i shall have to wish for something for them.

and like beth - i'd really like gasquet to come through a hard fought semi final, either 3 or 5 sets, then WIN in the final. And its gotta be at least a masters. won't be settling for anything else.

Posted by Jackie 12/17/2010 at 08:49 PM

Here but not ... finishing up a project at work ...

*waves to everyone*

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 08:50 PM

I want Benny to be able to toss a tennis ball again. :( last time i saw him, he couldn't even toss it to serve. *sadface*

i want llodra to win bercy. :)

*scurries off to amend wish list*

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 08:51 PM

Benny and Llodra - loved them !
They will not be playing together this year - so maybe we could wish for a Benny / Llodra reunion !

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 08:52 PM

i'm on board with the benny / llodra reunion! hopefully they'll at least play davis cup.

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 08:54 PM

I am unbelievably saddened at the dissolution of the dream team. Queens just won't be Queens without watching them wrestling on the practice courts under the benevolent gaze of Momo.

It goes without saying that on a personal level I want to hit Queens, Wimbledon, Bercy and the o2 again - and to see Delpo at least at ONE of them.

Posted by lira vega 12/17/2010 at 08:58 PM

Oh, they already resumed play in Oz? Nice, thanks G

And for the info on Bernie...I just did some brief googling on the matter and most important takeaway is that one should have a bucket handy when reading Luczak's quotes. Anyway, I'm gonna embrace my inner KAD and hope Bernie gets WC regardless.

Hi, AmyLu! Last I heard recovery was going as planned, there were some rumors that she might still play AO, but I wouldn't put much stock in them, nor do I really hope they're true. Playing unprepared is what's got her here in the first place, it would be nice if we at least learned something from it

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:00 PM

oh dear. i'm at 15 wishes. and i'm on my first glass of wine....

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:00 PM

I think I'm the only person for whom Benny and Llodra don't do anything. I by no means dislike them, but I'm really rather indifferent to them.

I am excited that New Haven is moving to Winston-Salem next year (it's a little over an hour away from us), but I'm wondering who is actually going to play in it. It's not that close to NYC, like New Haven was, and it's going to be incredibly humid at that time of year. Not the most ideal conditions for the week before the USO starts.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:03 PM

but at least its the same time zone amylu. and really, the humidity wouldn't be bad to get used to for the open. NYC that time of year can be brutal. look at last year. the first week was unfreakinbelievably hot / humid. then it was cold and windy as hail. very bizzaro.

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:05 PM

"stunned "
Indifferent to Llodra ? how does that happen

i can totally see indifference to Apricot Bars - he seems like a good guy , and reasonably attractive
but he does sort of blend into the surroundings - much like background music

Still together - he was the perfect straight man for the whacked out Llodra

"looks questioningly at Amylu"

although I totally agree with her assessment of the move to Winston- Salem
Have any of the powers that be in tennis ever been to the South in the summer ?

Posted by gauloises 12/17/2010 at 09:07 PM

OK, folks, I was going to stay up chatting through Dokic-Molik, but the rain (and the fact it's 2 a.m.) has rather scuppered that. It was really good talking to you all - keep wishing! I want something to read in the morning :)

Posted by A_gallivant 12/17/2010 at 09:08 PM

Fun post Jackie!

My most fervent 2011 wish is for all of my faves to remain injury free. If that happens I'll be pretty darn happy. Other wishes include:

I'm slam greedy for FED so I want him to win everything, but OZ & Wimbly would be really sweet
Delpo climbing up to top 20 at least
Tsonga making a leap into top 8 for WTF
Venus winning Wimbly
Soderling continuing good form without his coach
Serena returning to the tour to kick some ass

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:08 PM

jb, well I will say that if players can handle the NC humidity, they should find NYC's heat and humidity to be very tolerable. I'm assuming Isner will probably play, since he's from that area, but I'm just wondering how appealing it will be to other top players since it's not exactly a well-known location. I think the crowds will be really enthusiastic, though, regardless of who plays.

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:15 PM

Thanks lira! I really hope she's sensible about playing, too. I think the AO would be too soon, and I hope she really gives herself a chance to recover fully before she comes back.

beth, I know, it's very odd. I feel like I shouldn't be indifferent, much like I feel I should like donuts. Donuts always look really good to me, everyone I know loves them, and every time I think I should try again and see if I like one, I take a bite and think "yuck." I don't think "yuck" about Benny or Llodra, but it's very similar in terms of watching Llodra, thinking that I should find him very exciting, and then being "meh" for the most part. There are some things about myself that I just find inexplicable. :)

Have a good night, gauloises!

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:19 PM

the week before the slam, you're not going to get 'top' players, no matter where the location is.

its a good tuneup for journey men, as well as any player who's feeling the lack of match play.

its sort of like sunrise, the week of / after IW. players who crash out of IW early trot off to Sunrise before Miami to get match play in.

will you try to go see some of the matches?

Posted by lira vega 12/17/2010 at 09:19 PM

And Olivia's through to the final. Relatively easy, but should've been much easier really given the quality of Ferguson's play. Hopefully she's ready to pick it up for Dokic/Molik.
And please, for the love of g*d, stay away from the net, it's just not your thing

I'm off as well, and looking forward to reading ample match calls and discussions on the second semi in the morning ;P

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:20 PM

I think I get it , Amylu
I find myself feeling the same way about JMDP -
I know he is the man of the future - and everyone is all excited about his return
but I just don't give a "you know what "

love the donut analogy
my food analogy is bread pudding - everyone who has ever lived in New Orleans thinks bread pudding is the most divine dessert ever made . I think it is wet bread - no thanks
I will save my calories for chocolate

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:25 PM

still awaiting jb's wish list

this is gonna be interesting , I can feel it

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:29 PM

jb, top player probably wasn't the right choice of word, as you're completely right that most won't play the week before. I was just thinking that Winston-Salem will probably be less likely than New Haven was to get a player like a Verdasco (I think he did that one year? Or maybe I'm imagining that) or Gonzo to ask for a wild card, if he's short on match play, since it's not nearly as close to the city. Regardless of who plays, yes, we are planning on going. We'll be excited to watch anyone play (and I hope we can see a match as entertaining as last year's final)!

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:29 PM

lol beth, my list isn't that interesting. its just LONG! atm, i'm a bit distracted by polar bears coming out of hibernation.

er, of course that's on tv.

though it was artic cold earlier this week. much warmer today though. yay for that!

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:33 PM

I still think you should share ,jb

and speaking of animals and wish lists
can someone please think of a way for dogs to go out and do their business in the rain , and not bring mud back into the house
My kitchen looks like a pig sty - I have cleaned and wiped and it is all to no avail
everytime I open the door ( and face it mud is better than the alternative to the dog staying in here )
the place is filthy all over again

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:33 PM

i think you'll still get those looking for match play. its almost as bad going in cold to a slam as it is going in after overplaying.

so you'll get some good matches i think. it'd be harder if it was in california. or oregon.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 09:33 PM

Dokic and Molik are in a rain delay at the moment

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:35 PM

lol - you just need to train your doggie to stop and wait till you towel him off. golden's are tough, cause they've got that lovely coat!

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:38 PM

yeah , that is the problem , jb
that and he tries to eat the towel
he thinks it is a game

it's not the coat - it's the big ole feet :)

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:43 PM

I do think Verdasco has played at NewHaven
And Feli actually won it once
may have been the last event on the tour that he won

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 09:43 PM

hee - i can just imagine him thinking its great fun to wrestle all muddy and damp! :)))

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:46 PM

Master Ace, do you have any predictions for who you think will win the Dokic/Molik match?

beth, I don't think I've ever had bread pudding. But I'm guessing I would far rather have chocolate or ice cream over it. :)

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 09:46 PM

Jelena and Alicia are gone to the locker room as the rain got heavier.

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:47 PM

yeah - he thinks it is just the best thing ever
well - next to chasing squirrels , fetching balls and trying to convince us ,that even at 80 pounds ,
he is a great lap dog

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 09:48 PM

My pick is Jelena to face Olivia in the finals tomorrow.

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 09:49 PM

Amylu - IMO - it's nasty
and yet, some of the best restaurants in New Orleans offer it as their "specialty " dessert
wet bread is the best description I can come up with
but some of them even put in raisins - if you can imagine

"shudders "

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:51 PM

Master Ace, that would be my pick, too. Have you seen Olivia play? I know the name, but other than that, I don't know much of anything about her.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 09:54 PM

Aussiemarg would be the best person to give us insights on her. Olivia gave Dinara a tough match in 2009 at USO. She should have defeated Dinara.

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:55 PM

beth, I can guarantee you that if there are raisins in there, I wouldn't like it. I hate raisins. My mom makes these raisin bars (they're kind of like spice cake, with raisins inside, and topped with powdered sugar). I love the cake of the bar so I actually like it when she makes them. I will go through and systematically pick out the raisins, though, before I'll eat one.

Posted by AmyLu 12/17/2010 at 09:56 PM

Master Ace, I'd completely forgotten that was her. I have seen her play then! Thanks for jogging my memory. :)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Just Cold! 12/17/2010 at 09:57 PM

Hi Miss Jackie and whoever is here

I set my alarm clock to watch Molik and Dokic and its raining.Hmmm typical Melbourne weather.I want to watch the men also.

I will give you my wish list for 2011.

Rafa to complete his "Rafa Slam" cause I am going again in the 2nd week and hopefully in 2011 he will be there.I have tickets to both mens semi/finals and womens and mens final.

Rafa to win RG 2011 and to tie Borg record of 6 titles again I will be going.

Ok call me greedy.

Murray to win a GS title hopefully Wimbledon and get people off his back

Vee to win the AO 2011 a GS title she hasnt won or win Wimby at 30 if Fran can win RG at 30 so can she.

Sam Stosur to win RG 2011 Hmmm after this year.I know she can finally do it.

Del Potro to have a good year in 2011.

Cilic to have a better 2011.

Safina to have a injury free year.

Tomic to Grow Up and for his father to stand aside and let his new coach take over full time.

Looks like the rain has set in I will go back to sleep.Humbug!


Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 10:12 PM

Sun is out once again and the workers are drying the court.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 10:16 PM

beth, you're dead to me. how can you NOT like bread pudding?! :))))

i love it, one of my fav restaurants here makes a warm bread pudding, with banana bread. and its served with really great vanilla ice cream. yum yum yum.

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 10:20 PM

master ace - do you have a link you could post? I could prolly track it down, but if you have it handy i'd appreciate it... :)

Posted by Arun 12/17/2010 at 10:23 PM


Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 10:25 PM

I don't know ,jb , it is just yucky to me
There are just so many other sweets I would rather indulge in
Wet bread with raisins just does not work for me .

at least we still have champers in common :)

Posted by Dave G 12/17/2010 at 10:26 PM

Here is my wish list:
1) That Justine would learn to think on the court and not have to look to her coach to figure out what to do.

2) That Justine would hire a coach that can teach her to strategize while on the court, such as Martina Hingis or Francesca Schiovonne.

3) That Justine and Kim take their interest in playing doubles in the 2012 Olympics seriously enough to not think that they can walk onto the court together and think that they will make a good doubles team. I wish that they would play doubles together for a most of the tournaments this year especially the Slams.

4) That the first round Fed Cup match would feature a team lead by a healthy Justine and Kim playing a team lead by a healthy Serena and Venus.

As my wishes suggest, I used to be a Justine fan, but I was very disappointed by her match against Samantha at the French Open. I guess I didn't notice the amount of coaching she got on the court until her return.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 10:31 PM

Finals will start at 7 PM tomorrow

WTA - Olivia Rogowska vs Dokic or Molik
ATP - Luczak or Ebden vs Fenney or Matosevic

Posted by Arun 12/17/2010 at 10:34 PM

beth: As an aside, last year I wished Gasquet would win a title in 2010. He did win one. :)

Posted by jb (chocolate FTW!!!) 12/17/2010 at 10:36 PM

lol beth - yes, we'll always have champers! :)

and thanks arun!

daveg - i too wish justine would get a bit more independent from carlos. i'd also love to see she and kimmie playing dubs, at least at the slams like serena and venus do. agreed that they can't just step on court and assume they'll be effective as a dubs team.

*trots off to kick up the stream*

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 10:38 PM

Alicia served to begin the match with Jelena and holds at 15. Jelena to serve 0-1.

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 10:39 PM

Arun - I think that was on my wish list , too ! So maybe we brought him some good luck
Actually - if you count challengers - he won two this year !!!
Tomorrow , (now here is some real trivia ) the municipal courts in his hometown are being renamed in his honor . They were planning a hit with him on the courts - but there is snow - if I am reading the news report correctly .
My french is sometimes rusty .

Posted by Arun 12/17/2010 at 10:49 PM

That's good for him, beth. though a bit too much given he hasn't done anything legendary on tennis courts yet. :)

Re his year, he played pretty well in the 250s. I hope he can carry on that form in the 500s and 1000s. Or even the slams.

Posted by x-fan 12/17/2010 at 10:51 PM

My 2011 wish list:

1. Mr. Nadal to win AO
2. Mr. Federer to win RG
3. Mr. Murray to win Wimbly
4. Mr. Djokovic to win USO

Switching channels I noticed Serena is on Fashion Police on E

Posted by beth 12/17/2010 at 10:51 PM

it does seem like a post retirement sort of honor
but , no one asked me :)

Posted by Arun 12/17/2010 at 10:52 PM

lol, beth.

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 11:07 PM

Jelena win the first set 6-3 as she won the last 4 games of the set capped off by a FH winner DTL.

Posted by jita65 12/17/2010 at 11:12 PM

Hi, just want to add my wish list for next year :)
- Anyone but Federer/ Nadal to win AO :))
- Novak to win at least one major, preferably two (FO & USO)
- Murray or Roddick to win WO
- Nole and Murray to end year 2011 as top two
- Delpo, Cilic, Gulbis in top ten
- Soderling and Berdych to keep it going

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 11:15 PM

Another rain delay with Jelena leading 6-3,2-1 with Alicia serving

Posted by roadrunnerz 12/17/2010 at 11:35 PM

My wish list for 2011:

Fed to win his seventh Wimbledon
Stan Wawrinka, David Ferrer and Philipp Kohlschreiber to each win a Master's shield
Roddick to win the US Open a second time

That is all.

Unless I can add a totally deluded fangirl wish: For Fed to beat Rafa in the French Open final :)

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 11:35 PM

15-40 for Jelena as Alicia BH sails long
Jelena breaks as Alicia volley wide after coming forward behind FH

Jelena to serve 6-3,3-1

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 11:42 PM

0-40 for Jelena as Alicia shot sails long
15-40 Jelena nets BH return
Jelena breaks as Alicia FH sails long

Jelena serving for match 6-3,5-1

Posted by Master Ace 12/17/2010 at 11:51 PM

30-40 for Alicia as Jelena DF
40-40 ???
40-A Jelena nets BH as stream freezes
40-40 Alicia BH return long
40-A Jelena BH long
Jelena can not buy a first serve in this game
40-40 Alicia FH return wide
A-40 Alicia FH long
40-40 Jelena nets FH
40-A Jelena nets FH
40-40 Jelena drop shot winner
A-40 Alicia BH long
40-40 Alicia FH winner after coming forward
A-40 Jelena Ace
Jelena wins match as Alicia BH sails long

Jelena Dokic defeated Alicia Molik 6-3,6-1

Posted by Pspace 12/18/2010 at 01:36 AM

One each for Rafa, Murray, Roger, Nole, and Delpo. Oof that's 5? Well, if Rafa doesn't win Oz, then I don't really care what he does ;-). Slam or bust. Would like to see some1 other than Rafa win MC or Rome....RG is too much to ask for ;-). Roger to lose to Berdych again at a Slam....Wimby would be nice....but any slam would do. Mwhahaha.

One each for Kimmie, Henin, Sam and Caro.

Would be nice if Elf finishes #1. But odds are he will suck next year. Perhaps in 2012.

Posted by Corrie 12/18/2010 at 04:22 AM

My wish is for Gonzo to come back. I don't know what's happened to him, injury I suppose, but I hope he doesn't decide to retire and that he can manage to climb back up the rankings.

And of course for Roger to win more Majors and Masters and to play like he did the last weeks.

And after Tomic's very questionable behaviour I hope Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne don't give him the wildcards he seems to think he has a special entitlement to. I don't think that's the way to help him fulfill the hopes that he is the Next Big Thing.

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