Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

Poor misunderstood Novak. Matt Cronin posted this piece.

Novak Djokovic is controversial, but he doesn't want to be.

The world No. 3 has a strong desire to be his sport's superior player, but he can't yet stomach everything that comes with it — to be in the spotlight every waking moment, good and bad.

In public, the 21-year-old Serbian can't be the funny guy anymore. There will be no more hilarious impressions of his friend Maria Sharapova's serve, of his rival Andy Roddick's twitches, and especially of his locker room nemesis Roger Federer flicking his hair or clapping his racket in celebration.

"I'm in the transition," Djokovic told FOXSports.com. "It's not easy because I'm very emotional. Some things really hurt me, and maybe I express myself a little bit too much — people didn't get used to that. But at the end of the day, you sit and think to yourself, 'I've reacted the way I felt that's right.' Maybe it's wrong, but you learn from your mistakes. That's why life is testing us all the time."

The third seed at this week's Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Djokovic has gone from being the tour's boy wonder after winning his first Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open to the most vulnerable member of the sport's so-called Big 4, which also includes Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray

Whatever. How convenient to forget the Monfils incident, the antics of his parents at Melbourne in 2008, the sore throat retirement, the real reason Roger Federer told his parents to stfu, etc., etc.
Still waiting to read a piece on Andy Roddick's behavior Sunday morning by someone in the US tennis press. I'm not holding my breath.

Breaking News (not so much)

Remember Elena Dementieva'scomments a few years back about the Williams Family and that Richard Williams decided who would win and who would lose when his daughters had to play each other? It seems the Russian sports writers are still focused on that innuendo.

This quote is said to be from an article printed last Wednesday that focused on Dinara Safina's chances of obtaining the number one ranking:
"Of course, it has to be taken into account that it is possible that in semis Serena will happen to play her sister Venus, and then the outcome of the family match will not be difficult to predict"..

In the wake of Dinara's early round loss that was followed by Elena Demetieva's yesterday this quote is found in the same journal:
"Let us remind you that Venus Williams is in the same half of the draw ( as Serena ) and in case she plays Serena in the semis, the result will not be difficult to predict"..

Source 1
Source 2
The sources are in Russian.
Dementieva has by her own admission played a lot of tennis and may need a mental health break from the sport. It's worth discussing whether Dinara will suffer the same fate as Ana Ivanovic if she reaches the number one ranking after Miami. I just don't see her as being ready for the responsibility that goes with being HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge) but I could be wrong. I think the Russian press should be more concerned with why Dinara has played so poorly during the first half of the season and not engage in idle speculation about things they know nothing about. Vera Zvonareva in the meantime has been playing excellent tennis making good showings at the YEC, winning Indian Wells, and garnering a lot of talk about what she can achieve at Roland Garros.
Of course the articles could mention Vera. I don't read Cyrillic so I'm at a disadvantage. If one of you reads it please feel free to let me know if they do talk about the women's game in an honest fashion and if the quotes are taken out of context. The last thing women's tennis needs right now is for this sort of thing to become the main focus of attention.

End Notes
I hear that Fernando Gonzalez got a tad annoyed at Radek Stepanekfor taking too long to receive serve and hit the Czech player on purpose. It's also said that Fena offered an apology as the two men went to their respective corners, uh, seats during the next break. Radek got the last laugh winning their match in straight sets. He who laughs last laughs longest no?

So once again coverage of a woman's match, this one between Serena Williams and Zheng Jie was seen on tape delay on Tennis Channel in the States and that technical difficulties stopped the match from being seen by some in Europe. I don't know if the TennisTV feed worked since I had to go out for the evening. Serena had to fight to win the match going down a break in the third before pulling herself together. I did see Li Na win her match. There was a lot of on court coaching used. I hate it. I really do.
By the way guess who plays Serena next?

How could I not try and catch some of the Fernando Verdasco vs Feliciano Lopez match which Verdasco won? Neither man is my type but hey, I want to be able to say in a few years I saw the match of the pretty's.

Who would have predicted that the match of the tournament so far would be between Marat Safin and Gael Monfils? The standing room only crowd was treated to high quality tennis and a bit of drama. The crowd was pulling for Gael and he didn't disappoint. Great match.


MMT said...

What's the story between Djokovic and Monfils?

Savannah said...

It was at the US Open. Djokovic was just making a name for himself and he was playing Gael on the Grandstand court. The match was competitive and all of a sudden Djoke got the vapors - couldn't breathe and had to have medical attention two or three times - momentum breaking medical attention. After each medical time out - for different issues - Monfils ended up losing the match. It was the first time many of us had seen him go through this routine and it was the beginning of his antics on court.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I believe people can be redeemed and should be forgiven. I don't think a person's life should be defined by a few incidents occurring in their youth. As people we have all done things we've regretted. People grow, change. If you look back at Agassi, he had a terrible attitude and one of the worst tennis daddies around.He's turned out to be a very good person. Another would be Jim Pierce who often taunted his daughter's opponents.He once shouted from the stands, 'Mary, kill the bitch!' So yeah the Djokovic family made a few errors but others have said worse. I don't think it should stay with them forever. Just my two cents.