Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seen and Heard Around

by Savannah

WTA News

Samantha Stosur
Gisela Dulko d. (3)Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 7-6(5)
(25)Agnes Szavay d. (7)Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Samantha Stosur d. (2)Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-4

Agnes Szavay
Good thing WTA coverage will start in earnest tomorrow when all the top players will be in action. And no I'm not going on a rant about the idiocy of starting the women's coverage so late. I think the above results make my case. What fan wouldn't have wanted to see those matches as they were played instead of scoreboard watching?
Is someone going to make the argument that this shows the depth of the women's game as opposed to the weakness of the top ten with a couple of notable exceptions? Probably. Looks like Dinara is not yet ready to assume the mantle of Number 1 and all that it implies.

The State of American Tennis

Neither Justin Gimelstob nor Andy Roddick made any friends for American tennis this weekend. I turned the sound off on The Slob Saturday after he whined about what would happen if a certain player made it to the Finals saying that it would ruin ratings for CBS so I missed this wonderful exchange.

Gimelstob: It’s interesting that for the first time ever at our last ATP player meeting, some of the clay court players asked for some of the clay court tournaments to be switched to hardcourts. That’s how much they’re enjoying playing on hard courts.

Ted Robinson: Clay courters …. asked for more hard courts?[Laughter] I wish I had been there. [Laughter] I can’t fathom that Rafa was one.
Gilmelstob: Rafa was definitely, adamantly, against it. But players like Nalbandian, Del Potro, and Gonzalez were arguing for it.

Robinson: Really? … Was the subject of player longevity, player health, raised since clay is the least difficult surface for the players’ bodies?

Gilmelstob: Well, that’s how we countered it --- beyond the fact that clay needs to be protected as an important historical part of tennis, we need to protect their bodies as hard courts are the most abrasive and physically damaging of all surfaces. Rafa was quick to point that out as well. But in a classic Rafa way: “I want to walk when I’m 27, no? I like play with my kids some day, no?”


I admit I was skeptical that even the Slob would divulge statements made during a player meeting especially since he is a member of the ATP Board but not one person has disputed what he said.
So what is wrong with the statement?
  • Since when are David Nalbandian, Fernando Gonzalez and Juan Martin del Potro clay courters? All three men play their best tennis on hard and/or indoor courts. I guess in the Slob's mind if you come from South America you are automatically a clay courter. Abysmal ignorance at the very least from someone who is supposed to be a tennis professional and an expert commentator.
  • Apparently he did a very bad imitation of Rafael Nadal's accent when he speaks English when allegedly quoting what he said during the meeting. This has also not been disputed by anyone.
  • Since when does an ATP board member reveal the goings on at what is supposed to be a private meeting between players and the ATP? Not that information hasn't ever leaked out before. Usually the reporters who divulge the information make sure to hide the source of it.

Andy Roddick and Tournament Referee Alan Mills

This morning Andy Roddick continued to enhance the reputation of American tennis by going into a profanity laden and infantile rant against chair umpire Cedric Mourier because Mourier didn't stop play when Andy thought play should be stopped. To put things in context rain is threatened for most of the afternoon. A brief shower started and before Mourier could say anything Roddick had picked up his racquets and announced he was leaving the court. Mourier asked that he stay on court since the shower was going to be brief. Andy left and no sooner was he off the court than the sun reappeared and the court deemed safe to play on.
After being broken by his opponent a few stray drops fell and Roddick again demanded that play be stopped. Mourier refused to be bulled and Roddick threw his racquet and said the following of Mourier:
"What the fuck are you doing?"
"(You're a )fucking asshole"
"You're sitting on your fat ass doing nothing"
Unfortunately I heard this with my own ears and couldn't believe that Andy was not given a warning or a point deduction. I understand that he was upset at being broken but the chair is in control of the court and all Andy had to do was ask Cedric to check the lines. If Mourier refused then be upset and no one will blame you.
I recall Serena Williams being called out for using an f-bomb to berate herself yet nothing has been done to Roddick. The umpires say they know it's not personal and don't take offense. If that's the case a guy ranked in the 80's should be able to get away with that behavior as well in my opinion since it's not personal.
Andy Murray tends to go on profanity laced tirades as well. In fact he went on a couple of them yesterday but no one says a word. Double standard much?

Photos of the Week

Elena Dementieva

Serena Williams


craig said...

The Slob mentioned he is having dinner with Roddick tonight. Mentioned yesterday that he ate at Nadal's restaurant in Mallorca. Ate last week with Murray in IW. Seems like we can't get rid of this barnicle.

BTW Goodall last night announced that Murray was the new world #2.
So I guess, it's Nadal, Murray, Fed and Djok now.

b said...

The Roddick thing is pretty disgusting.... and it's not the first time by far that he has abused an umpire..... Bully Roddickj is one of the main reasons I can't warm to him.... Anyway I hope hope hope Monfils wipes the floor with him next round.

Craig Hickman said...

As I said elsewhere, Andy needs help with his verbal abusiveness. But when these umpires don't sanction him, then they enable it. And if there's some mutual understanding that this is okay, fine. But we don't need to see and hear it.

As for Monfils wiping the floor with him, we'll see.

Savannah said...

Personally I don't like Azarenka but I can't deny her hunger and desire to be at the top of the game.

I was never a fan of Kim and while I understand why people are excited about her comeback I'm totally underwhelmed. I think she's going to be a bit surprised by what she finds on her return.

tangerine said...

I'm glad I don't have to listen to Justin too often (love the Slob nick). I'm curious, which player is Savannah referring to when she writes: "I turned the sound off on The Slob Saturday after he whined about what would happen if a certain player made it to the Finals saying that it would ruin ratings for CBS." Davydenko's not playing so CBS doesn't have to worry about a repeat of last year's disastrous final.

Andy should have gotten a warning/violation as soon as he called Mourier a fucking asshole, but I think he was shocked and/or intimidated by Roddick. Now that it's too late for the code violation maybe they should slap him with a fine, because even though I'm a huge Roddick fan, Andy went over the line with that verbal assault and should pay for it.

Glad to hear Kimmie is coming back. The WTA desperately needs her. Maybe Justine will reconsider her retirement too. The women's game is completely unwatchable to me nowadays.