Monday, June 8, 2009

This and That

by Savannah

Reading is fundamental. This phrase was part of an ad campaign promoting literacy in the United States many moons ago. The phrase comes to mind because I've been reading some of the responses to Roger Federer's statement admitting that he needed Rafael Nadal to not be in the French Open final in order to win it.

It's not as if he were speaking in tongues people. He said what he meant and meant what he said (apologies to the late Dr. Seuss). The other big reveal was made by Mary Carillo during the NBC broadcast when she said that Robin Soderling and Federer have practiced together before. I didn't hear this one personally but a very good friend told me about it. I had the match on but the sound was only loud enough to hear the sound of sneaker on clay and ball on racquet. I didn't want to waste my few remaining brain cells on the Fedfest I knew would be taking place. I just didn't know that the badass was really only ready to be bad with one player. Makes what happened on court all the more interesting no?

I've noticed that on most of the fan boards the fans of Mr Monogram were left to celebrate on their own. This seemed to vex them a lot. I wonder why? Their man won. They have every right to celebrate. Instead they continue to try and get fans of other players into a food fight. Whatever. The French Open is over.

On the Sea

Nice picture.

The Grass Court Season

It takes me a week or so to get into grass court play. Rallies such as they are last two or three shots. It's impossible to get mentally engaged the way you can during good clay court play. You need the attention span of a gnat to "get" grass court play.

It's not as if there was a lot of real clay court play on view the last couple of weeks. The women played very little clay court tennis. Few of them know how to slide let alone have the patience needed to play well on the surface. That's why it was so pleasing to see Svetlana Kuznetsova win over the ball bashing Dinara Safina.

But that is so much water under the bridge. I've been trying to watch play from Halle and Queen's Club. Not holding my interest yet. I would've liked to see Maria Sharapova in her grass court debut but as usual the WTA has made it's product unavailable. She easily disposed of her first round opponent according to the scoreboard. I love scoreboard watching in this the age of ever advancing internet technology don't you?

Red Bull and Richard Gasquet

So a fan posts a speculative thread stating that maybe Richard got the cocaine in his system from drinking Red Bull. The energy drink was recently cited for having low levels of cocaine as part of it's makeup and this fan thought that maybe that is how M. Gasquet ended up testing positive. It totally got by him/her that the amount of Red Bull Richard would have had to ingest to get a positive result would add up to about 200,000 cans of the energy drink. It's kind of like testing positive for heroin and saying you eat a lot of poppy seed bagels. The amazing part was that fans took the speculation as something Gasquet actually said when it was nothing of the sort. Gasquet has been too busy lambasting Henri Leconte for daring to suggest that he be punished according to the letter of the existing law. How dare he! Doesn't he know he's supposed to join the "poor Richie" chorus and lobby for "time served" or something?
I'm not even going to discuss the speculation that Gasquet kissed a girl who had just done a few lines. Really people. Really?

And can't people read anymore? What the hell are they teaching in the schools these days? If people can't tell the difference between speculation and fact we're in serious trouble. Reading is fundamental.

End Note

Kudo's go to Tennis Channel on line television and ESPN360 for allowing fans with access to their sites to see live tennis. Tennis Channel television has commentary, most of it pretty good (fair and unbiased) while ESPN360 offered it's viewers the chance to see a match as if you were there live. No announcers. Tennis Channel does have "commercials" but that is a minor annoyance compared to the service provided. If there was camera coverage on a court TC was there.

I also have access to a subscription service, WebTV. It's Russian language television and offers much more than tennis although that is all I use it for. It's not cheap and to my knowledge it only works on a Windows platform. Still it was where I watched Rafa's loss in it's entirety and got live coverage of the men's semifinals. Both of them.

As for NBC I think it's time for them to give it up. Their coverage was abysmal and in the States all means of watching online were disabled forcing a fan who doesn't have WebTV to be at their mercy. For the men's semi finals they allowed three hours of coverage. Three hours. Time for one match but not two. This resulted in US fans seeing a tape of the completed first semi final while there was actual live tennis being played. Amazing in this day and age.

There is no need to talk about the commentary. It's intrusive, full of in jokes lost on the average and/or casual fan, and biased. I guess the good news is that they don't employ the Slob. Fans with access to TC have the pleasure of listening to his opinion and commentary. Thank God for small favors huh?

It's painfully obvious that the US networks don't have the cojones to give tennis it's due. Tennis, like baseball, is timeless. You know when the first match will start but that is the only certainty. If the networks don't want to cover tennis the way it needs to be covered why are the tours shelling out big bucks for almost non existent coverage? Golf the networks cover for as long as it takes. The Super Bowl and World Series get the glamour treatment. Tennis is treated like crap. It's time for the tours to reevaluate where and how they spend their money. It's also time for them to make sure that an outlet dedicated to it's sport is part of basic cable service. I'm just sayin'. I have "Gol" television but not the TC.

Idle Chit Chat

Some great pictures of Sveta after her French Open Victory

Some nice pics of Serena Williams and Sasha arriving at LAX. All of the pics are posted HERE

Edited to Add...

The Diagnosis of Dr. Monogram

"It seems like it's not 100 percent serious, his knee injury. I only wish him the best and I hope it's not true that he will miss Wimbledon. I think it's a lot of speculation at the moment," Federer said. "He wasn't taping his knees here in Paris. He seemed fine, [from] what I saw, anyway. I've played him so many times, I can tell when he's in pain and when he's not."


Rafa is in Barcelona for tests today. Dr. Monogram is making noise about pulling out of Halle.
LINK on Halle.


vw said...

the good news is that they don't employ the SLOB

Thank God for that! Great pics of Sveta (I'm still glad for her) and Serena. Of the Sisters I like Venus best though.

Dr. Monogram! lol great label, now he is an orthopedic doc. I guess we'll have to see that Mr. Rogers sweater or will it be the white jacket and gold braided man-bag again soon. Ewww

On another note:
I've always been interested in who players have in their boxes.That says something. Fed has Anna Wintour and Gwen Stefani and Djok has Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower. I don't remember who Murray had. Be something to watch for coming up at USO.

rabbit said...

Savannah, I hope you don't mind my commenting on this blog, even as a fan of "Mr. Monogram". If this blog is restricted to only fans of Rafa and others are not welcome, please let me know.

I just wanted to point out that, despite what the vaunted team of NBC commentators have to say, Roger and Soderling don't have an unproblematic relationship. In 2005, in Halle, Soderling was very near to beating Roger, about to end his grass streak. There was a controversial call in that match, where Roger hit a ball very close to the lines that was called in, Soderling hit a shot off the ball but raised his hand up as if to indicate that he had stopped playing the point and would dispute the call, then Roger, seeing Soderling raise his hand, stopped playing seriously and hit a casual shot back, at which point Soderling hit a huge winner. Roger had a dispute with the umpire and Soderling kept rolling his eyes and indicating with his body language that he was fed up with Roger. There was a bit of animosity between the two for the rest of the match and a curt handshake at the end when Roger won.

Second point is I remember reading Rafa and Soderling also practice with each other. I can't find a reference right now but I remember it distinctly because I thought it was amusing.

Final point is that I don't believe that when one player compliments another, it indicates mental weakness. Murray called Roger a great player after the USO match and has since defeated him in every single matchup. I don't think anyone would say Murray has a complex about Roger. And most of all, such a belief seems perplexing coming from Rafa fans. Rafa congratulated Roger after FO, saying that he deserved it. Does this mean that Rafa would have given up the match if they'd met?

Savannah said...

Rabbit I make no secret of being a Rafa fan. It's why I tend not to analyze or comment on ATP draws because I'm aware of my fangirl tendencies.

I remember that incident with Soderling in 2005 and that the two men seemed destined to belong in enemy camps.

As has been pointed out though they have been practicing together so I guess they've buried the hatchet.

Rabbit do not be a stranger. If a tennis blogger only wants one fandom to post on their site they name the site for the player they follow. This is a tennis site.
Fans of Mr. Monogram are welcome as are fans of all the players. I will never give my faves sobriquets that make it clear who I root for unlike some other sites. :)

Older readers will remember that a regular feature of this blog back in the day was a character named "MV" who always defended her man, "Dr Wasabi" while flinging sarcastic barbs at all of his detractors. ;)

rabbit said...

OK, thanks! :)

sG said...

Sveta looks red! But happy! Sad for Safina but happy for Kuznetsova.

As tempted as I may be to devalue Fed's win even just a little (and I am SO tempted), I'm trying to keep a leash on it, lol. It wouldn't be fair or right. He won all fair and square like. :) Fed's 1st quote is... interesting. I don't know what to write about it that hasn't already been written here or elsewhere so I'll just leave it at interesting. The second quote, the diagnosis, I'll just leave it at...

TopSpin said...

I'm not a die hard Fed or Rafa fan, but find the Dr Monogram quote a little troubling.

And it's not the first time I've heard this kind of speculation about how legit Rafas injury is.

If nothing else, that kind of a quote from him is unnecessary; Rafas never made much of very real injuries in the past (sometimes playing through them without so much as a peep), and with the very deferential attitude be has towards Roger, not to mention how nice he was when he won Wimbledon and took on the #1 ranking, Dr Monogram should be the last person in the world to cast doubt...

Helen W said...

From Irish Times:

Doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro has carried out a detailed examination on Nadal and insists that the player will be able to return to training shortly.

"I have been playing with pain in my knees for some months now and I simply can't go on like this," said Nadal. "The pain was limiting certain movements in my body, which affected me mentally as well.

"After the tests and with the appropriate treatment, we have decided to travel to London next Tuesday.

"I am going to give 200 per cent to be ready for the most important tournament in the world - the tournament that I always dream about.

"I will not go out and play, especially on the Wimbledon Centre Court, if I am not 100 pre cent ready to play."

He added on his official website: "I have two difficult weeks ahead of me, especially because I won't be doing what I like doing most, which is to play tennis, but I will be working on my recovery through physiotherapy treatments as well as recovery work on the specific muscular area."

Doctor Ruiz-Cotorro, the Spanish Federation doctor and managing director of the Mapfre Medical Tennis Centre, added: "After the appropriate tests (MRI, ultrasound scans and gammagraphy) Mr Nadal suffers from insertion tendonitis in the superior end of both kneecaps with a light osseous edema.

"His treatment will involve oral anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy as well as progressive muscular exercises.

"Following the 48-hour treatment, Mr Nadal will gradually get back into training"

So, who ya gonna believe: Dr. Monogram, or Rafa and Doctor Ruiz-Cotorro, the Spanish Federation doctor and managing director of the Mapfre Medical Tennis Centre?

Get well soon, Rafa!

Savannah said...

Thank you for the update Helen. :)