Thursday, July 23, 2009

Idle Chit Chat

by Savannah

Tamira Paszek has turned herself into Austrian anti doping authorities after treatment for her back. During the treatment blood was taken out, enriched, and then reinjected. This is known as blood doping. Paszek was alerted by a reporter and promptly contacted the proper authorities. Shouldn't someone on her team have known the procedure was illegal? Anyway here's the full report.

Maria Sharapova returned to the courts last night. Playing for World Team Tennis team the Newport Beach Breakers she teamed with Julie Ditty to win women's doubles, 5-2; paired up with Kaes Van't Hof to capture mixed doubles, 5-2; and in singles played against Meghann Shaughnessy winning 5-4 (5-1) in women's singles. She is quoted as saying "I am a hundred percent," prior to the start of play yesterday. For the complete story please go Here

Kim Clijster's also made her return to the courts this week. Playing for the St Louis Aces WTT team Kim lost her mixed doubles match but won her doubles and singles.

Blogger HCFoo reported yesterday that Mirka Federer checked into the Klinik Bethanien in Zurich. As women who have given birth know first babies are notorious for taking their sweet time entering the world.

Dinara Safina's coach Zeljko Krajan is quoted as saying the following about Serena Williams:

“If she thinks she can only play 4 tournaments a year & will be #1 in the world she is wrong and has problems with mathematics.”
I guess it's fun playing tournaments like Potoroz where, no offense to the tournament organizers, Dinara is top dog in a field of little known and low ranked players. It helps pile the points on and right now that's the way ranking is determined in the WTA. Tennis purists dogged Jelena Jankovic for taking the "I'll play everything" route to the top so I hope Krajan doesn't think less vitriol will be headed his charge's way for doing the same thing. Dinara is not playing Stanford next week thus avoiding the Williams Women for the time being. Her fans point out she is scheduled to play the next three tournaments after Stanford so it makes sense for her to play what would be called a Challenger in the ATP and skip the big guns the following week. Whatevs. The source of the quote is @dinaupdates on Twitter.

Staying with the Safin family unless you're hosting a Fight Club ( I know. The first rule of Fight Club is there is no Fight Club) don't invite Marat Safin and Mats Wilander to the same party. Marat is reported in the Swedish press to be livid about remarks Mats made during the French Open final about his younger sister Dinara.

"I was shocked when I saw the Paris final on TV and heard how Wilander on Eurosport totally put her down. He only points out how good he was and how simple he thinks it is to play a GS final and I was very indignant.

"His career was over a long time ago and now he is only a commentator. I can't understand how he can speak like he did. He didn't show Dinara the smallest respect and didn't say a word about how she became number one".

Wilander, who reportedly said of Safina's French Open final effort "She was embarrasingly bad" has, to no one's surprise, not backed off one bit from his comments.

"I don't really understand why Marat is pissed off. I have the right to an opinion as anyone else.

"The fact is Safina can't handle the pressure. It's Ok, not to be able to handle the pressure, but at least come with a game that is fairly good and don't look at your coach after every fucking point" says Mats Wilander.

"She is very skilful at tennis and is world number one, but her mentality is too poor. It's embarrassing to look at. I think it's so fantastically bad that someone had to say something".

I absolutely don't regret what I said. The facts are that she has been involved in three poor finals, when all said and done, but I am the only one who dared to say it aloud".

"I am a professional media reporter and when I see a match where the players toil away and fight and not when she is half crying through the whole match".

Come on Mats. Blood is thicker than water after all so you know damn well that Marat has to defend his sister. If you are Swedish here is the Source

Top Chinese woman Li Na may not be able to play any of the summer hard court events including the US Open per ESPN. Li's husband and coach Jiang Shan says that they are prepared to travel to the States but that if the injury proves serious they will go to Germany to rehab his wife's knee. Li is currently ranked eighteen in the world.

It's summer so it's hard reading some fanboards since they're full of speculation and ridiculous comparisons and flame wars. Therefore it was nice to see a post by tennishead "StephenUK" pointing out that there are only two teens in the WTA top 100, Melanie Oudin of the United States at 71 and Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal at 76. Age restrictions as well as the more physical requirements of the women's game have made sure that players like Laura Robson and Madison Keys aren't throwing their still developing bodies into the fray right now. Younger players will be thankful as their bodies, minds and games mature and they can compete longer.

Nathalie Dechy of France is expecting her first child and has retired from the Tour at the age of 30. I always enjoyed watching her play.

Tennis Week reports that WTT has imposed further fines on the participants in the brawl between the Sportimes and the Kastles:
Following a League investigation, including review of the video and the umpire’s report, the League issued fines to the Kastles and Sportimes for the unprofessional conduct of several players — Leander Paes, Rennae Stubbs and Olga Puchkova from the Kastles; and John McEnroe, Robert Kendrick and coach Chuck Adams for the Sportimes. In addition, Puchkova and Kendrick received individual fines for their actions. Puchkova was fined for leaving the bench to come onto the opponents’ side of the court and verbally confronting another player. Kendrick received a fine for his unsportsmanlike conduct when he hit a serve at the Kastles’ Leander Paes as he stood at the net while Paes’ partner was set to receive serve.
Guess that means no more brawls for awhile...

End Note

I have to confess that I haven't watched tennis for the last couple of weeks. I've been enjoying life as a real person instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to watch the match play from Europe. I got to the movies to see the latest "Harry Potter", I've been watching swim and track meets on television, and even caught some baseball. I also made several trips into the City, what residents of New York City's outer boroughs call Manhattan and just did some walking around and sightseeing the tourists. I've also been paying attention to politics again and I do hope to see the new African and Oceanic Art wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before the US Open starts.
However I watched the first set of Dinara's match yesterday before heading out to see the recreation of Chef Diva Ina Garten's new kitchen and there's this match between David Ferrer and Juan Monaco I'm getting ready to watch on ESPN 360. My vacation is over.


Karen said...

Well, well well. Excellent post. My comments:
Zelko needs to stop babying Dinara. Whatever bs he is feeding her, the rest of the world is not buying. Even if Serena plays only 4 tournaments for the year, and wins them, at least they are 4 prestigious tournaments. When your player wins 1 freaking game in a grand slam semi, and then has to be defended by her opponent, whose sister you just attacked, methinks you need to shut up.
Mirka needs to give birth to this baby and now. There are websites where there is betting on to see if she will pop soon. LOL. Ridiculous.
So funny that Marat decides to speak out and defend his sister, when he could not even be bothered to turn up at any of her major finals in which she has played, even though she has said that she would love for him to come and see her play. I cannot understand why everyone thinks that Dinara is a good player. For years if you saw that girl's name in the draw the only comment that was made was that she was Marat's sister. That was it. When she had her breakthrough last year it was the first time she was actually winning a top tier tournament. I have said it over and over and over again, as long as Dinara can get her coach to come down on the court and tell her what to do she is fine and she will win tournaments, but you best believe that at the majors where your coach cannot come down she will continue to have these embarrassing episodes where she is blown away on the court and has no idea what to do. I had liked her in the beginning of her reign, but now I am starting to really dislike her. First the age thing, and now her coach coming out and saying stuff. I will say it again, the WS coach - you never hear them talking about other players.
I also notice that Mr. Nadal has brought the age issue into the fore as well. I wish the younger players would not do that. Your time will come when age and injury will slow you down and there will be someone to walk on your grave. Say that your time will come and that once you have overcome whatever issue you have, you will prevail, but dont say stuff about another player's age, and how you have youth on your side, because the only things in life are death and taxes.

U said...

Poor Li Na. She always gets hurt as approaching to #15. :(