Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This and That 3/31/2010

by Savannah

The WTA has jumped into social networking with both feet. It's new fan site,, has a great look and provides interesting tidbits on the players. Serena Williams gives details on a recent awkward moment involving her hitting partner " Big Sascha". I have to admit I agree with her comments.

As far as Twitter is concerned Serena, along with Anne Keothavong, Svetlana Kuznetsova (who posts in both Russian and English) and Venus Williams are the most prolific and hilarious of the women. Among the men only Andy Roddick posts enough to make himself interesting and give a glimpse into his personality. I was taken back when he admitted he had Justin Bieber fever. Talk about awkward.

Another American player, Sam Querrey, whom I don't follow, managed to put his foot in his mouth last night.

RT @samquerrey: although i still wish i was in the tournament im glad to be home and away from guido-ville a.k.a. miami!!!

I'm glad I saved the post because when you go to his Twitter page now the post has been deleted. Calling an Italian-American a "guido" is not cool. Why he used it in reference to the resident's of Miami is not clear. Wonder what he says about other ethnic minorities when no one is looking.

Sony Ericsson Open/Miami Watch
I'm still waiting to see what all the fuss is about regarding Yanina Wickmayer. Marion Bartoli (above) took her out in straight sets last night.
Did this man play the match of his life last night? He played the man across the net plus a rowdy, pro Monogram crowd.

The crowd during the men's night match was comparable to the crowd during the day match between Nicolas Almagro of Spain and Tomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Almagro had to stop playing at one point because of the heckling and an offending fan was warned that his next outburst would lead him to the exit.

Marin Cilic who was seeded 7th at Key Biscayne lost to Fernando Verdasco who will play Berdych next.

Pictures of the Day
Both of the above were taken during the Verdasco match.

End Note:

Serena Williams is reported to be "questionable" for Rome.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

by Savannah

Psychologist Offers Help to Murray

From BBC Tennis

The psychologist who helped Andy Murray battle back from a serious wrist injury has revealed he will contact the Australian Open finalist this week following his admission he is struggling mentally.

Murray was beaten by Mardy Fish, who is ranked outside the world's top 100, in the second round of the Miami Masters on Saturday.

Roberto Forzoni, who also works with the Lawn Tennis Association, said: "I'm there for him. We've got a good relationship and he can pick up the phone at any time. I'm going to be trying to contact him in the next day or so to see if there's anything I can do."

Murray first worked with Forzoni in 2007 after struggling to rediscover his confidence following a wrist injury that ruled him out of both the French Open and Wimbledon.

Andy Roddick's Reaction to ITF on Davis Cup

After reading on that the ITF had secured a unanimous vote from its European and Asian members in defense of its current Davis and Fed Cup format, based on four principles (to be played annually, feature a home-and-away format, be contested in association with national tennis federations, and to conform to the rules of tennis), Andy Roddick tweeted, “in the most unshocking news of the day, the itf does nothing … my favorite is rule number 4 "conform to the rules of tennis" as opposed to what? conforming to the rules of basketball? nascar? common sense?”


Tennis Talk

Sania Mirza, who just recently broke her engagement to a long time friend is now set to marry Shoaib Malik, a major cricket star and former captain of the Pakistani team. Sania has asked that her wedding be treated as a private matter.

Victoria Azarenka apparently showed her ass big time in her match against Kim Clijsters last night. There were racquet tosses, streams of expletives and general mayhem. By the way she lost 6-4, 6-0.
Fellow hot head Yanina Wickmayer is still playing.

Marion Bartoli defeated top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Venus Williams fought back against a revitalized and healthy looking Daniela Hantuchova after dropping the first set.
Jelena Jankovic hit the wall and was defeated by Samantha Stosur.

Serena Williams was tweeting props to her stylist for creating her new look. She and Sveta were also tweeting each other for a short time last night.

I have to get used to Caroline Wozniacki being announced as "World Number Two". With Serena reportedly out of Marbella I've seen scenarios posted that Wozniacki could conceivably take over the top spot.

Tennis Channel has tennis coverage from 11a to 11p. If history repeats they'll be on until the last ball is struck. Knowing that I thought I'd escaped having to hear the Slob calling matches. Unfortunately he's working on TC. I wonder who he has pictures of?

I didn't hear it but supposedly a commentator referred to the "Monogrammed Maestro". I'm just saying...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Andy Murray: I'm Tired of Tennis

by Savannah

Andy Murray on his current state of mind.

'I need to start enjoying my tennis again. This has been going on for a few weeks now,' he admitted after losing 6-4, 6-4 to Mardy Fish.

So to add to the list of woes currently afflicting British tennis, such as Davis Cup humiliations and parliamentary hearings about the sport's administration, there is now turmoil in the mind of the country's one genuine championship contender.

This is all quite a turnaround. For a fleeting few weeks 12 months ago when he won the title here and Roger Federer was in meltdown, Murray was being acclaimed as the best player in the world.

n deeply pensive mood later on, third seed Murray, who received a first-round bye, assured everyone that there were no hidden problems in the background. He said: 'I've been very happy off the court but just not on it, and that's where I need to be happy because that's my career, this is what I do. It's only me who can figure it out.

People think sportsmen are different to other people but we're not - we all go through bad patches. I've got to get back to how I felt in Australia at the start of the season.'
Murray was emphatic that his malaise, which has seen him win just two of five completed matches since Melbourne, is not down to any profound reassessment since losing to Federer.And he also stressed that he is happy with the team around him.

I bet Adidas is really happy with this. They did just get rid of all their other male players to sign Andy for a shitload of money. Don't get me wrong, I understand that he can be burned out but I'm simply a fan. I'm not a suit from Adidas.

Quotable Quotes

by Savannah

Venus Williams and Andy Murray have made some interesting comments

Venus Williams on the state of women's tennis in the States.

“Thankfully [Serena and I] won't be walking into the sunset too soon,” Venus said. “Hopefully that will give some bumper time. It's just definitely strange because of the unbelievable tradition we've had with tennis for Americans since the beginning. I think that's what makes it so odd.

"But I've got hope. There are a lot of players who are very good, but getting to that level isn't easy for anyone. So hopefully there will be someone coming along soon with the tools and the traits and who will build that in their game to get there."

Andy Murray on his recent play.

Andy Murray said he's frustrated by his recent lack of mental toughness.

“I haven't been tough enough on the court, and that's what's most disappointing,” he said. "You can kind of get away with playing
badly. I don't really mind that. But mentally the last few weeks I've been really poor and unacceptable. It's not been great since

"I need to find a way to get round it, and I'm sure I will. I've gone through bad patches before, and I just need to practice hard,
work hard, and get stronger. I'm sure I'll start playing better again. But the last few weeks haven't been the best.”

Yaninia Wickmayer's father Marc Wickmayer has said unless his daughter is a starting Fed Cup singles player she will not play in the tie against Estonia at the end of April.

"It's the beginning of the clay season and Yanina does not want to risk injury in a match without significance," Marc Wickmayer told Le Soir, questioning Henin's motives for volunteering for the tie. "Why does Justine want to play? Because the match is taking place in Belgium? To look after her popularity in Flanders? If she's there again next year to go to Russia or the Czech Republic, then I'll present her with my apologies."

Marc Wickmayer also said Clijsters "doesn't talk to me a lot and is very distant with Yanina."

Yanina, however, has indicated she would be willing to play either way. "If I have to play, I'll play. If not, I'll encourage the others," she said. "The most important thing is that Belgium wins. I don't want to impose myself."

Why Bother?

For the second day in a row in my neck of the woods FSN tennis coverage ended an hour before the posted time. With hockey coverage starting at 6:30p there won't be any tennis on FSN tonight.

I found out late but Tennis Channel did show the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Philipp Kohlschreiber match in it's entirety.
On Tuesday Tennis Channel is scheduled to have coverage from 11a - 11p. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

The Odesnik Mess

Andy Roddick made the following statement:
"There's nothing worse than that," Roddick said at the Masters 1000 event in Miami. "That's just plain cheating, and they should throw him out of tennis. There's just no room for it."


Guillermo Canas has stated that he knew nothing about Odesnik's arrest in Australia.

I’m helping him [Odesnik] when he’s here,” said Canas, who admitted the doping scandal was the worst moment of his career. “It’s tough for me to speak because I don’t know nothing.
“I want to try, if I can, to help him.”

Q. So this was news to you? You didn’t know (Odesnik) had an issue in Australia?
GUILLERMO CAÑAS: Yeah, yeah, nothing


It's interesting how some people are saying Odesnik was stupid to carry it himself and that someone on his team should've taken the weight for him. Others are throwing Canas under the proverbial bus trying to create smoke that indicates there's a fire.

Then there's this quote from an anonymous player.

We all had suspicions about three to four years ago. His upper body got huge at one point and his legs stayed skinny. He had zits all over his back.


This is totally Odesnik's issue and should be viewed as such.

Sony Ericsson Open Notes
The cameras will be turned on today and FSN will be carrying play live in my area starting at 1p.

American men fared poorly yesterday in Key Biscayne with only Andy Roddick and John Isner making it to the next round on the men's side.

Elena Dementieva lost in the second round to Justine Henin again.

American teen sensation Melanie Oudin lost to Vera Zvonareva 6-1 and 6-2 while Caroline Wozniacki had to fight from being down 0-3 in the third set against upset queen Tsvetana Pironkova to win the set 6-4.
The biggest news of the day was Olivier Rochus win over Novak Djokovic. We couldn't see the match here in the States so I don't know what happened. I did know that head to head Rochus had a winning record against Djokovic, 2-1, going into the match.

Off to watch as much tennis as I can since I have company coming later this afternoon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tennis Talk

by Savannah

American Tennis Player Facing Two Year Doping Ban

Sam Lienert reports the following:

American tennis player Wayne Odesnik faces a possible two-year ban after pleading guilty to importing human growth hormone (HGH) into Australia.

Customs officers found eight vials, each containing 6mg of HGH, in Odesnik's baggage, when he arrived in Australia in January to play in the Brisbane International and Australian Open.

The American 24-year-old, ranked No.98 in the world, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to importing the hormone and was fined $8000 and ordered to pay $1142.80 in costs.

Odesnik made the quarter-finals in Brisbane, and reached the second round of the Australian Open, for which he picked up a $31,500 pay cheque.

The matter will now be referred to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Under the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) code - to which the ITF is a signatory - the penalty for possession of a prohibited substance is a two-year ban from the sport.

This incident occurred before Guillermo Canas became Odesnik's coach. Felix Mantilla coached Odesnik for a short time. Some are reporting otherwise.

This and That

Tommy Haas is now officially playing for the United States instead of Germany. He recently became an American citizen.
ETA: Not true. Someone at the ATP apparently jumped the gun. I apologize.


This is the only non action shot I found of Venus Williams new dress. I think I like it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This and That 3/25/2010

by Savannah

So how did the IMG, uh, WTA wild cards do?

Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. (WC) Anastasia Pivovarova (RUS) 61 76(3)
Melinda Czink (HUN) d. (WC) Arantxa Rus (NED) 36 61 76(6)
(WC) Justine Henin (BEL) d. Jill Craybas (USA) 62 62
(Q) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) d. (WC) Heather Watson (GBR) 64 62
[WC] P Martic (CRO) d [18] A Rezai (FRA) 75 57 64
[27] A Szavay (HUN) d [WC] A Molik (AUS) 60 60

Just to be fair lets look at the ATP wild card results.

[WC] D Nalbandian (ARG) d L Kubot (POL) 63 62
J Blake (USA) d [WC] F Krajinovic (SRB) 67(6) 64 64
M Llodra (FRA) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 62 62
J Chardy (FRA) d [WC] M Ancic (CRO) 64 64
Juan Ignacio Chela def. (WC) Lorenzi 6-4 3-6 7-6 (3)
Carlos Moya withdrew due to injury and was replaced by lucky loser Marcos Daniel of Brazil.

Davis Cup

The war of words continues in British tennis circles. Andy Murray is reported by to have made the following statement.

Andy Murray says that former Davis Cup captain John Lloyd’s criticism of his Davis Cup participation was unwarranted.

Lloyd stepped down from the captaincy last week following five successive defeats, saying about Murray, "Call me old-fashioned, but when is it a convenience, and not a privilege, to play for your country?"

Murray argued he should be given credit for playing against Poland last year right after the US Open, even though he was suffering from a wrist injury.

"I can understand to a certain extent that everyone would like me to play in the Davis Cup because obviously we've got a better chance of winning,” Murray said. "But I played through the [Poland] match when I was injured and it set me back probably double the amount of time that it would have done if I hadn't played.

"No one talks about that side when you're playing through matches when you're hurt and it sets you back and then you drop ranking points. I don't see John coming out and having a go at [Roger] Federer or Rafa [Nadal] or [Andy] Roddick or whoever, the guys that don't play Davis Cup all of the time either. There are some guys that play very, very few matches that are a lot better players than me."

I hate to inform Mr. Murray that of the three men he mentions Andy Roddick has played Davis Cup every year he's been able to. This is the first year he's not played a tie. Rafael Nadal has also been available to play and traveled with the team when he wasn't able to play.

It's my understanding that Murray has taken a leading role in choosing who will be the next DC captain for Britain and that his personal dislike of Greg Rusedski has eliminated him from consideration. I guess he doesn't think that the object of his scorn should call him on his ish.

In other Davis Cup news it's been announced that the tie between Serbia and Croatia will be played in the city of Split in Croatia. This has worried Serbian Davis Cup captain Bogdan Obradovic to express concern about security. Niki Pilic, a native of Split and team advisor to Serbia will not make the trip.

The French Open

There is a lot of chatter about the possibliity of the French Open moving from the hallowed ground of Roland Garros to one of four sites including one near EuroDisney and the other near Versailles. Whether this is a bargaining ploy or something serious remains to be seen.

The Women of 2009

by Savannah


Listed below are the winners of the WTA Tour Player Awards for 2009. Voting for the categories is listed below and is excerpted from the official announcement by the WTA.

The winners of the annual player awards for Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year are determined by the global tennis media, with Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players themselves selecting the winners of the Player Service and Sportsmanship Awards. The Fan Favorite Singles Player and Doubles Team are chosen by tennis fans.
Additionally, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players voted on their favorite tournaments and chose the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as their favorite Premier event and the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC in Acapulco as their favorite International event.

2009 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Awards:

· Player of the Year: Serena Williams

· Doubles Team of the Year: Serena Williams and Venus Williams

· Most Improved Player of the Year: Yanina Wickmayer

· Comeback Player of the Year: Kim Clijsters

· Newcomer of the Year: Melanie Oudin

· Player Service: Liezel Huber

· Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award: Kim Clijsters

· Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year: Elena Dementieva

· Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year: Serena Williams & Venus Williams

· Favorite Premier Tournament: BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells)

· Favorite International Tournament: Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC (Acapulco)

The awards were presented at a special ceremony on Wednesday March 24 in Miami. Congratulations to all!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sony Ericsson Open - The Main Draws

by Savannah

Uh, is there an echo in here?

WTA Main Draw


[1] KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana RUS vs BYE
PENG, Shuai CHN vs KING, Vania USA
BYE vs [27] SZAVAY, Agnes HUN

BYE vs [13] BARTOLI, Marion FRA

[12] WICKMAYER, Yanina BEL vs BYE
BYE vs [18] REZAI, Aravane FRA

[31] WOZNIAK, Aleksandra CAN vs BYE
BYE vs [8]LI, Na CHN

[3] WILLIAMS, Venus USA vs BYE

[19] HANTUCHOVA, Daniela SVK vs BYE
BYE vs [16] PETROVA, Nadia RUS

[10] PENNETTA, Flavia ITA vs BYE
BYE vs [23] LISICKI, Sabine GER

[6] RADWANSKA, Agnieszka vs BYE


[7] JANKOVIC, Jelena SRB vs BYE
BYE vs [28] VESNINA, Elena RUS

[20] ZHENG, Jie CHN vs BYE
[9] STOSUR, Samantha AUS vs BYE

KVITOVA, Petra CZE vs GARBIN, Tathiana ITA
BYE vs [17] PEER, Shahar ISR

DULGHERU, Alexandra ROU vs OLARU, Ioana Raluca ROU
[4] AZARENKA, Victoria BLR vs BYE

BYE vs [26] CIBULKOVA, Dominika SVK

MALEK, Tatjana GER vs ERRANI, Sara ITA

[15] SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA vs BYE
VOEGELE, Stefanie SUI vs CORNET, Alize FRA

[32] KIRILENKO, Maria RUS vs BYE
CZINK, Melinda HUN vs WC RUS, Arantxa NED
BYE vs [2] WOZNIACKI, Caroline DEN



[1] FEDERER, Roger vs Bye
[WC] MOYA, Carlos vs SERRA, Florent
BYE vs [26] MONTANES, Albert

[20] SIMON, Gilles vs Bye
ZEBALLOS, Horacio vs SEPPI, Andreas
RAM, Rajeev vs DE BAKKER, Thiemo
BYE vs [16] BERDYCH, Tomas

[10] VERDASCO,Fernando vs Bye
KOROLEV, Evgeny vs SELA, Dudi
HANESCU, Victor vs FALLA, Alejandro
BYE vs [23] MELZER, Jurgen

[25] BAGHDATIS, Marcos vs Bye
LORENZI, Paolo vs CHELA, Juan Ignacio
ROBERT, Stephane vs BECK, Andreas
Bye vs [7] CILIC, Marin

[3]MURRAY, Andy vs Bye
FISH, Mardy vs MAYER, Leonardo
LACKO, Lukas vs BERRER, Michael
Bye vs [29] LOPEZ, Feliciano

[19] WAWRINKA, Stanislas vs Bye
BYE vs [13] YOUZHNY, Mikhail

[9] GONZALEZ, Fernando vs Bye
Bye vs [22] MONACO, Juan

[31]TIPSAREVIC, Janko vs Bye
Bye vs [5] SODERLING, Robin


[8]TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried vs Bye
CLEMENT, Arnaud vs GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo
CHIUDINELLI, Marco vs MAYER, Florian
Bye vs [28] KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp

[17] ISNER, John vs Bye
KOELLERER, Daniel vs ROCHUS, Christophe
Bye vs [12] FERRERO, Juan Carlos

[12] FERRER, David vs Bye
LLODRA, Michael vs [WC] HARRISON, Ryan
Bye vs [24]KARLOVIC, Ivo

[30] TROICKI, Viktor vs Bye
NALBANDIAN, David vs KUBOT, Lukasz
BYE vs [4] NADAL, Rafael

[6] RODDICK, Andy vs bye
Bye vs [32] BENNETEAU, Julien

[18] ROBREDO, Tommy vs Bye
GREUL, Simon vs BECKER, Benjamin
Bye vs [11] LJUBICIC, Ivan

[14] MONFILS, Gael vs Bye
SCHWANK, Eduardo vs GICQUEL, Marc
[wc] ANCIC, Mario vs CHARDY, Jeremy
Bye vs [21] QUERREY, Sam

[27] BELLUCCI, Thomaz vs Bye
ROCHUS, Olivier vs GASQUET, Richard
Bye vs [2] DJOKOVIC, Novak

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Look Back and A Glance Forward

by Savannah

Jelena Jankovic poses with her winners trophy in Indian Wells.

Ivan Ljubicic won the mens final at Indian Wells.

I don't think anyone could've predicted the singles winners of this tournament, the first part of tennis' "March Madness" to steal a phrase. Jelena Jankovic had not been playing well coming into this event and while no one would've been surprised at her making the quarters making the final and then winning it all was not something anyone thought would happen. Even taking the court I got the feeling that many thought Caroline Wozniacki would find a way to beat Jelena. But JJ wasn't having it. She played agressively and brilliantly in the first set and while things devolved a little in the second she fought off Wozniacki and held on for the win.

As for Ivan Ljubicic he wasn't on anyone's radar. Ivan turned 31 Saturday and his recent play had been lackluster at best. Instead he's the one to have made it through and got to hold up the Baccarat crystal trophy.

The Fifth Slam

The tennis world's attention has now turned to Miami, or more properly Key Biscayne, an island across from Miami. You go from the dry desert air to the heavy humidity of Southern Florida with the attendant change in playing conditions.

Serena Williams and Juan Martin del Potro have withdrawn, both due to lingering injuries. They join Dinara Safina, Nikolay Davydenko, Lleyton Hewitt, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas and Jose Acasuso all of whom are out with either surgery or injury.

As I mentioned before there was a lot of surprise that no Americans got WC's on the women's side. Ryan Harrison managed to sneak on on the men's side. The qualifying draw is out and up and coming juniors like Sloane Stephens are there. It remains to be seen how the players granted WC's into the main draw acquit themselves.

The Main Draws for both men and women come out tomorrow.

Miami is the last hard court tournament of the United States spring swing. After this the men of the ATP and the women of the WTA get to play in the dirt.

A Sad Note

Guillermo Canas will announce his retirement in Miami. It goes without saying that he was robbed of what looked to be a promising career by an idiotic ruling by the drug testing hierarchy, a ruling that let Greg Rusedski, who committed the exact same offense, to get by without even a slap on the wrist while Canas was suspended.

He has begun a career in coaching. I wish him well.

Winners and Finalists - Indian Wells 2010

by Savannah

Women's Final

[6] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [2] C Wozniacki (DEN)

Men's Final

[7] A Roddick (USA) vs [20] I Ljubicic (CRO)

Doubles Champions

Kveta Peschke (2nd L) and Katarina Srebotnik won the WTA Women's Doubles Crown

Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal Men's Doubles Champions

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seen and Heard Around

by Savannah

Indian Wells Women's Semi Finalists

[6] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [8] S Stosur (AUS)
[5] A Radwanska (POL) vs [2] C Wozniacki (DEN)

Despite what some in the tennis media described as the loss of "star power" all the the WTA semi finalists are in the Top Ten.

Match point during Samantha Stosur's match against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez ended up being a tennis WTF moment. MJMS hit a first serve that was out. There was a late call and MJMS challenged saying Stosur had waited too long to challenge. Kader Nouni was in the chair and he agreed with Stosur and upheld the out call. MJMS who had to know she had just hit a first serve and that once the out call was upheld she had a second serve inexplicably served a first serve that was quite obviously out. Nouni called Game, Set, Match and surprisingly both women looked perplexed. Was MJMS trying to bluff? If so she picked the wrong chair umpire. She didn't shake his hand though which is bush league on her part. This is MJMS second questionable action on court. Come to think of it Stosur pulled a fast one in Australia. Does Justine Henin have two women vying for her throne?

Jelena Jankovic's New House

I'm tired of Tracy whining about JJ's new digs. Ms Jankovic is building the house in San Diego. Here's what the Los Angeles Times said.

Jelena Jankovic, a 25-year-old Serbian who is the sixth-seeded player at the BNP Paribas Open, is hoping to be moved in to her 20,000-square-foot new-construction home in Rancho Santa Fe sometime this year.

"It's on a hill," Jankovic said of the lot where her new house is being built. "It's one of the best spots." She said she can see the ocean "a little bit" from one of her balconies. The house will have three levels and a 10-car garage. "I have five cars for now," she said. She also raved about all the closet space and that there are two master bedrooms. "One for woman, one for man," she said.

Would she would have a man to share all this space? "I have a boyfriend for now, but I don't know," she said. And of course the new home will have a tennis court.

Jelena, and any top athlete, has the right to spend her money any way she wants. She's worked for it and has made what seems to be an investment for her future. Haters to the left.

Tennis News

ESPN's Chris Fowler has gotten an Emmy nomination for his tennis commentating. I've always admired Fowler who came from the world of college football and fell in love with tennis. Congratulations Chris.

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan are being profiled on CBS "60 Minutes" on Sunday. Check your local listings.

John Lloyd officially resigned his Davis Cup captaincy. Andy Murray said the following:

"It’s a shame because obviously the results haven’t been going well so it’s easy to kind of blame John in a way.

"I really enjoyed the ties, I really enjoyed the weeks in the lead up – guys know him well, he’s a nice guy, good fun, likes his football, likes being around the guys, tells a great story."

Greg Rusedski's name is still being mentioned as Lloyd's successor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

News and Views 3/18/2010

by Savannah

I'm tired of writing about the state of the WTA so I'll present another point of view.
Bill Dwyre wrote the following after attending a press conference featuring WTA CEO Stacey Allaster.

Here's some of what he had to say about the non participation of they-who-must-not-be-named.

The issue has moved from them not being here. Deal with it folks. They aren't coming back. Their confrontation with the crowd in 2001 and dad Richard Williams' characterization a week or so later that the whole thing was racist is a tattoo on this event.

New owner Larry Ellison said he wants them back, but being the fourth-wealthiest man in the world won't be enough. Learning to change wine into water might do it.

Last year, from the WTA's bonus pool alone, Serena Williams forfeited $400,000 and Venus $150,000 for failure to play the mandatory Indian Wells event. Apparently $550,000 isn't motivation enough.

Dwyre then goes on to talk about the tour and the up and coming players.

The bigger picture here is the future of women's tennis, especially without Venus, 30 in June, and Serena, 29 in September.
Allaster is now in the vision-for-the future seat. Also the smooth-it-over seat. She said Serena's much-watched outburst at the U.S. Open had not hurt women's tennis and she considered it "one evening out of character."

Allaster said that the retaining of tour sponsor Sony Ericsson was key, and it was, even though the cellphone company came forth with less money this time around.

The real growth in the product will be where it has always been, and where it was Monday.

On Court 3, Shahar Peer and Flavia Pennetta banged through a terrific three-set match, Peer winning. Both are good players, both attractive personalities.

Next on the same court was newcomer Yanina Wickmayer, whose out-of-nowhere success is a good story. She beat unheralded Roberta Vinci of Italy, who served and volleyed in her key service game of the second set. Good stuff. Even the men don't try that much anymore, a huge loss to the game.

On center court, in a key-lime-pie dress, Serbian Jelena Jankovic, a compelling character in the process of building a 20,000-square-foot house in San Diego, won a tough three-setter of her own.

Kim Clijsters, who lost a long and wrenching 2 1/2-hour three-setter late Monday to Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, usually brings the sunshine.

Justine Henin is back and brings along her smooth-as-a-vanilla-milkshake backhand. Maria Sharapova keeps breaking down, but keeps trying.

Allaster has her work cut out for her.

Seen and Heard Around

I don't know if everyone noticed but the woman who made the foot fault call against Serena Williams at last years US Open was working a men's match yesterday. The camera zoomed in on Shino Tsurubuchi and lingered for what in television land was a long time.

Caroline Wozniacki can become WTA #2 if she makes the Final at Indian Wells or the semifinals at both Indian Wells and Miami. A commentator referred to Caroline as the new "It" girl the other day. I do hope that WTA CEO Stacey Allaster is serious about growing the WTA brand and that the tour is promoted not just one player.

Caroline will play Aggie Radwanska next in a match that for this observer will be sleep inducing. I don't care for the way either woman plays but this is the future of the WTA so I'll stay awake as long as I can.

Ivan Ljubicic is into the quarterfinals at Indian Wells.

Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe Will Reenact Their Wimbledon Final...

But the general public will not be invited.

..the exhibition match is being paid for by Wimbledon's increasingly influential corporate partners HSBC, who will select what will be a relatively small audience.

The event is expected to take place in the fortnight's gap between the French Open and Wimbledon in early to mid June, at a time when McEnroe is in Europe for his commentating duties in Paris and London.
It is believed the match would happen on an outside court and not the Centre with licensing difficulties, plus the preparation of the site for the main Championships, making it difficult to stage the event more publicly. There is also the reality that the disparity in playing standards between Borg, who rarely practises these days, and McEnroe, who still trains regularly at 51, will not mean that it could be a seriously competitive match.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

News and Views 3/17/2010

by Savannah


WTA Quarter Final Match-Up's

[5] Agnieszka Radwanska vs. [4] Elena Dementieva
[18] Zheng Jie vs. [2] Caroline Wozniacki
[23] Alisa Kleybanova vs [6] Jelena Jankovic
[28] Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez vs [8] Samantha Stosur

So... Do You Think This Guy Has A Right To Be This Happy?

Too bad the commentators forgot the adage about not counting chickens before they're hatched.

By the way who did Robbie Koenig offend to get paired with the Slob doing commentary?

Bienvenidos a Miami

There were some raised eyebrows, mine among them, about who was selected to receive a WC into the WTA tournament in Miami.

Justine Henin
Anastasia Pivovarova
Arantxa Rus
Jelena Dokic
Michelle Larcher de Brito
Ajla Tomljanovic
Petra Martic
Heather Watson

You're right. Not one American was given a WC. Last I checked this tournament is still on the US mainland. As a tennis head friend of mine said it seems that the organization that "Owns" this event made sure all of it's girls got in. After all IMG is everything no?

I haven't seen the Qualifying Draw yet but I'm sure that's where all the promising Americans are.

Winner of the "What Not To Wear Award" - WTA
Aravane Rezai

Runner Up: Jelena Jankovic

Honorable Mention: Caroline Wozniacki

A lot of people picked JJ's dress right off the bat but unless someone can prove otherwise I think Aravane's outfit takes the cake. From what I can see of the fabric it's just not something I'd wear on a tennis court (or anywhere for that matter).

JJ's dress is not that bad. It's just that you can't see it because of the color. I also wonder why JJ feels the need to wear an outfit with a padded bra. Doesn't she have boobies?

The only reason Caroline Wozniacki's outfit didn't win is because in my mind it's a given that whatever Stella McCartney designs for tennis wear is going to suck big time. I didn't like the scribble on that outfit Venus Williams wore last year and I like it less here. The color isn't good for Caroline's skin tone and it makes her look matronly. The only reason I don't say Stella made it all on her last name is because I pass her Madison Avenue store at least once a week on my way home and she does have some cute stuff in the window from time to time. She just has no concept of what a tennis player needs to project on court.

Best Dressed - WTA

Maria Sharapova has finally learned what is best for her. She is long and tall and while some may feel she needs a "feminine" look on court - lots of ruffles and flourishes - she looks best when she keeps it simple. This was a great outfit on her.

Zheng Jie is small. She is short in stature and very fit. Some may be surprised but it is very hard for a woman built like her to find clothes that suit her. This outfit does it all. It allows her to move and has just enough fabric in the skirt to give it a flair but not envelop her in it.

Of course there are awards to be given for the men's side. There are the shorts of course, and the outfit another player wore that made me keep looking for the "ready to rumble" guy and the cut man. That's all I'm going to say for now.

End Notes

Carla Suarez Navarro and Alisa Kleybanova played to an almost empty stadium last night. Judging from the way the Twitter gang cleared out there weren't many people watching on line either but that could be because only TennisTV showed the match. I tried to watch it but I fell asleep during the third set. Tennis Channel has been showing the women's late night match as a lead in to their daily coverage of late, something else they're doing right.
I have to say I was surprised that the organizers didn't have fans who stayed come down from the upper level to fill in the seats around the court. That is what they do in New York when matches run late and the crowd has thinned out in Ashe. Then again maybe they did.

Has the Andre Agassi "I'm Sorry But He Won't Call" tour ended yet? I'm not watching the vid, especially after one of the tennis media big wigs asked the rhetorical question "How can you stay mad at this guy?" It's that attitude that allowed Agassi to get away with skipping drug tests and being on meth.

By the way Pete Sampras issued a statement. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times he said the following:

"Mostly, this just bums me out," Sampras told the newspaper. "It makes our relationship uncomfortable now... It saddens me.

"We've done this before, the imitating each other. He usually just sticks out his tongue at me.

By the way no more shout out's from this space. I mention that Vera Zvonareva is the only woman who is fighting in her matches and bam, she's gone.

I'll end with one of my favorite Irish Blessing's

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tennis News and Views

by Savannah

Twenty year old Nicole Vaidisova has officially retired from tennis. Vaidisova, who is set to marry Radek Stepanek in July, was no longer interested in tennis if one looks at her play over the last few years. I think Kim Clijsters statement says it all:

“She was a big talent. I never really felt when I was playing against her like if I practiced against Jennifer Capriati or Sugiyama, like those were really good hits and fun hits. We were laughing and training really hard. I think with her we never really had that feeling that she was out there for the fun of it I think she felt a lot of pressure. Maybe from her entourage. I think also obviously the different personalities. There's girls, if you're a perfectionist in sports, I think it's very hard to achieve. Maybe after a while it becomes very draining. You need to realize even Roger Federer, makes mistakes. She was always a girl, especially in matches, was very down and showed a lot of emotions.

While we all have our opinions about her relationship it seems that she is happy now and going to focus all of her attention on her marriage. I wish her well.

Hit For Haiti Part Three

The Hit for Haiti story has still not gone away. Andre Agassi is not stopping with his "apology" in which he says he's "reached out" to Pete Sampras who hasn't responded. Justin Gimelslob, uh, Gimelstob, fresh from his dissing of Lindsay Davenport last night, is scheduled to interview Agassi with excerpts to be shown during coverage by both Fox and Tennis Channel. I'm sure that like me, you're all waiting for Justin's "fair and balanced" interview. I just hope Justin wears a bib. Wouldn't want to get one of his silk ties covered in drool would we?

The WTA Indian Wells Debacle Part Deux

The head count so far:
Justine Henin. Gone
Maria Sharapova. Gone
Kim Clijsters. Gone.
Ana Ivanovic. Gone.
Svetlana Kuznetsova. Gone.
Victoria Azarenka. Gone.

Jelena Jankovic barely won her match yesterday.
Vera Zvonareva is the only woman who, after a scare from American teenager Sloane Stephens, seems to have her eye on the prize.
Has all the star power gone from the WTA tournament? If people feel that way it's the fault of the PR machine of the WTA. Players like Alisa Kleybanova, Elena Dementieva, Zheng Jie, Carla Suarez-Navarro and Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez are not the players the tour wants to promote. I left Yanina Wickmayer off that list because she's Belgian and that seems to always be a WTA flavor of the month. I put Elena in because for some reason the tour has never promoted her despite her model looks. Go figure. Won't it be funny, ho-ho, if things continue the way they have been in the WTA and all they're left with are the non center court girls? I'm just saying things could get very interesting.

The Fans

The fans who have actually paid their money to sit in the stands seem to be voting with their feet about who they want to see. At any given time the stands in the outer courts are SRO while you could shoot a cannon through center court and not hit a soul. It's not just during the day when the sun is brutal either. While Jelena Jankovic was fighting her heart out against young Italian up and comer Sara Errani the number of fans in the stadium that seats 16,000 could be numbered in the hundreds. And the sun was no longer a factor. I'm sure they're there. I guess the food court must be fabulous.

End Notes

One of the top tennis reporters printed comments allegedly made by Rafael Nadal during a presser that proved to be false once the transcripts were available for publication. The big shots are really on a roll.

Meanwhile there hasn't been the usual brouhaha over those who must not be named not playing for the 9th year in a row. I wonder why? Bet they wish they were...

For those who haven't seen the translation of the Haitian Creole expression on the shirt worn by Rafa during the Hit for Haiti it means "Hold on tight." I'd love to have the shirt.
ETA: I finally found the source for what is my favorite picture from H4H, Monogram and all.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Indian Wells: The First Look

by Savannah

The WTA Debacle
“I just felt like I couldn't really extend it all the way,” Sharapova said of the elbow, which also troubled her at the U.S. Open. “It was a little stuck. I'm not sure if it's the balls or maybe the air and the tension is a little bit tighter. But [the trainer] said that more than average have been complaining about arms, so I don't know.”

Maria Sharapova

“I play tennis for like 17 years, and I still cannot put this little ball in this huge court. It's frustrating,” she said. “I'm not the worst player in the world, so definitely I have expectation from myself to put a little bit more inside of the court.

"When you're a little bit nervous, tense, it's tough for you if you didn't have matches. I know I'll be back and I know I'll be fine. But it's just frustrating, because you see your chances passing by. I feel like I'm fighting against myself. This is what I don't like.”

Svetlana Kuznetsova

"It was a tough day today, I agree," said Henin. "I was never into a good rhythm and never really found my way to win. Even in the second set it was better, but still a lot of ups and downs.

"She was playing quite high balls, also, and I never really found a good timing. So I wasn't consistent enough. That's very simple. It's a bit of an off day and you have to deal with it," she said.

Justine Henin

“It's tough, because I really felt a lot more confident over the last few weeks, practicing with Heinz. We worked on a lot of things, and it was going really, really well.

“Today was a completely different kind of match…I also couldn't finish the point. So it was kind of frustrating. It was a fight out there. I’m disappointed I didn't find the answers. I had a lot of opportunities, I think.”

About 19-year-old Sevastova’s performance, Ana commented: “Obviously I give her a lot of credit. She has a slow style of play, she doesn’t give you any pace or rhythm and it’s very difficult to play against.

“To be honest, I was hoping for one or two more unforced errors [from her]. But she's definitely a player who won't beat herself. You just have to work really hard out there. I was prepared to stay out there until midnight and try to work out a way to win.”

Ana Ivanovic

I let them speak for themselves this time. I don't know what else to say about the WTA.


David Ferrer played a lot of tennis coming into the BNP Paribas Open/Indian Wells. Does that explain his 6-1, 6-4 loss to James Blake?

To be honest I was surprised that Nikolay Davydenko didn't withdraw prior to the start of play. Now there are reports that a MRI showed that his injured wrist is broken. Some say he'll miss the French Open. Others say he won't. Film at eleven.
Gael Monfils apologized to fans for his 6-1 2-6 3-6 loss to Simon Greul via Twitter. I saw the first set and figured that the match was a wrap for Gael. I was wrong.
David Nalbandian lost 6-4, 6-1to Jurgen Melzer. Maybe it was the sunlight?

I'd have to count Michael Russell's 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Igor Andreev as an upset.

If anyone says that they thought the team of Tomas Berdych and Philipp Kohlschreiber would defeat the Bryan twins in straight sets they're lying.

The day session ran long and with most fans and television viewers going back to work you would think they'd do everything to shorten the time between the end of the day session and the beginning of the night session.
You'd be wrong.

Play resumes today at 11a Pacific/2p Eastern
The TC coverage continues to be excellent.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

After The Storm

by Savannah

Kia, in her response to the previous post touched on some things I wanted to mention.

The Dust Up in the Desert Part Deux

Last night while watching TC a "Court Review" clip came on hosted by Cari Campion of TC. It was a review of the "Hit for Haiti" exhibition from the night before. I wondered if they would show some of the fantastic shots and assumed they would skip over the unpleasantries between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Boy was I wrong.

Instead of just pretending it didn't happen TC decided to make it look as if the two men were just joking around and having a good time. If that's what a good time is I spent most of my youth doing the wrong things. Later in the evening they showed a second clip on "Hit for Haiti" again hosted by Ms Campion and it didn't mention all the fun Sampras and Agassi had. Maybe they remembered that a lot of people saw the event and that neither man went to the presser held afterwards. There are also rumors that indicate the two men stepped to each other in the tunnel after the cameras and mics were gone. Sounds like a good time was had by all right?

A New American Prospect
One of the matches I looked forward to seeing last night was the one between rising young American Sloane Stephens and Vera Zvonereva. Sloane is only 16 and this would be her first time playing in a big stadium. I didn't expect her to win - when she's calm Bepa plays quite well - but I hoped she'd make a good showing.

Sloane did just that. Bepa can be excused for thinking she had an opening match one level short of a walk over but by the end she knew she had to kick it up a whole lot to make sure she won without dropping a set. Sloane gave the veteran a hard time on almost every service game and showed that when it comes to rallying she can hang tough. If she is managed with an eye towards her getting WC's into big events and gradually acclimating herself to the main tour American tennis fans may have the player they've been waiting for.

Sloane, seen here with coach Roger Smith, has a rudimentary pro level game. She's got all the shots and is working on point construction and strategy. I liked that she was angry at herself for not playing better. She really thought she could and should be winning.
Right now she's flying under the media radar. She's gotten a lot of folks attention after last night. Let's hope the slow and steady approach continues for her.

Fun, Fun, Fun

Evoking the spirit of California surfer culture Edina Gallovits, Andreas Seppi, Andy Ram, Agnieszka Radwanska, Agnes Szavay and Sorana Cristea did some modeling. They look as if they're having a grand old time.

End Notes

I want to wait until all of the players have played their opening matches before commenting on the tournament so far. Yes there have been some surprises, some major, some not so much. I'm going to be out and about tomorrow early and I'm hoping to be back in time to see the day's coverage.

I must take a moment though and say that Robbie Koenig and Doug Adler did a tremendous job. Instead of yapping all through the matches they commentated they assume that viewers, new or tennisheads, have enough intelligence to follow what they're watching. Once a point was finished they made quick comments and when play resumed they shut up. I kept wondering what was different about the broadcast and then I realized it was the blessed silence. Keep up the good work guys.

I spend a lot of time bashing the coverage we get here in the States but aside from starting late (coverage started Saturday while play started Wednesday) I'm impressed with what Tennis Channel did yesterday. They showed every match they could and didn't go off the air until the last match of the day was played. Coupled with TennisTV I had wall to wall coverage since TTV showed some matches in full that Tennis Channel only showed highlights from. Great work by all involved.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh What A Night!

by Savannah

I don't publicize it but Friday nights are pour moi. If possible I avoid the Internet and sit and watch television. I did that for the first part of the evening catching up on shows I missed during the week that were sitting on the DVR and preparing for a tennis overdose tomorrow by avoiding the above mentioned internet and except for a foray onto the Foodnetwork to find an oven setting I did well.

But such is my life that I got a text asking when my fave ATP player was going to play so I went to the BNP Paribas Open/Indian Wells official site to check out the Order of Play.

You see once I start looking at tennis stuff my brain short circuits and I end up on tennis fanboards. That is how I found out about the Dust Up in the Desert (I don't have that rhyming gene a la Muhammad Ali. Sorry.) The boards were all lit up about some trash talk between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. There was talk of a fired up Agassi with blood shot eyes going after Sampras the way he did in his book. Deciding I needed to find out just how serious this was I went on Twitter and the tennisheads were all over the situation too. Insinuations were being made there that Andre appeared to be "on something".

I found this hard to believe. I mean what tennis player is going to take the court in a high profile exhibition match aimed at raising money for the people suffering in Haiti intoxicated or high? Andre has done a lot to tarnish his image in the last few months and something like that would just be beyond the pale.

Fortunately Tennis Channel's war with Cablevision ended right after the US Open last year so when someone let me know they were repeating the event I put on my television. This was the regular television not the HD one that's in the living room. I had read that on HD the condition of Andre's eyes was very clear so I decided that when the men's segment came on I'd watch it on the HD television.

It must be said that Martina Navratilova talked all through the women's portion but while annoying it didn't get personal. Unfortunately my ear isn't tuned to her accent when she's speaking fast so I didn't catch a lot of what she said. I can say I'm sure that no insults were spoken by her.

Unfortunately I could easily understand what Andre was saying. It started when he said younger viewers probably wonder who the two bald guys are playing with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Even though Sampras managed to reply by saying he still had some hair left you could see that he was annoyed to say the least. Losing your hair is traumatic for anyone, male or female, as Andre of all people should know. You will read that it started when Pete imitated Andre's pigeon toed walk. Sampras did that after the hair comment. Now it was Andre's turn not to be amused.
Before you could settle down Andre started in on Pete being a cheapskate and bad tipper. First he turned his pockets out and imitated a person pretending to look for money in said pockets and finding none. A few minutes later he said he'd hate to be a parking valet when Pete drove up.
Sampras aimed a serve right at Andre barely missing him. The crowd had been laughing and taking the comments lightly. Now an uneasy silence reigned and both Federer and Nadal were quite uncomfortable. Federer tried to make some jokes of his own but by that point things had gone too far downhill to salvage the good feelings that were part of the first few points.

Both Tracy Austin and Patrick McEnroe were stunned into silence. Justin Gimelstob tried his best to calm the waters but instead seemed to be making matters worse. At the end there was an embrace at the net but no one was fooled. Emotions were still running high.

By the end of the match Agassi had run out of gas and his team lost 8-6 to Federer/Sampras. But the score will always be secondary to what happened between the two biggest stars of American tennis. It's perverse tennis history and something that will be talked about for a long time. Was Andre "on something" as many implied? I don't know. I know that I saw that his eyes were big and round, pupils hugely dilated, the whites of his eyes were bloodshot and that he suddenly ran out of gas leaving Rafa to play two men on his own. HDTV is a bitch. It shows everything.

What should have been a joyous occasion before a packed house turned out to be a downer. The people of Haiti, and the people who put the exhibition together, deserved better.

The good news is that a check for one million dollars was given to the Red Cross. That is what this was supposed to be about.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not So Idle Chit Chat

by Savannah

Play started today at the BNP Paribas Open/Indian Wells. Of course none of the top seeds were playing but there were some interesting match ups for hard core tennis fans. I guess we tennisheads should be used to the cameras being turned off until the Big Babes and Boys begin to play but it's really not fair. Sometimes someone perceived as cannon fodder goes on a tear and makes a deep run in a tournament. Of course no one will be able to say "I saw the change in his/her game from their first match" because for most of us early round play consists of scoreboard watching. In the United States preseason baseball, basketball and football are televised. This way if some kid just up from the minors gets hot fans can see his development. I wish TPTB in tennis would recognize that fact. I would have loved to see how Patty Schnyder, coming back from injury, played today. Jelena Dokic, who hasn't been seen much at all this year, plays today not to mention Magdalena Rybarikova plays Justine Henin. You'd think the cameras would be on for that match. Don't scoff. I've seen them turn the cameras on for one match that involved Maria Sharapova and turn them back off. On the men's side I would like to have seen Michael Russell and Lester Cook as well as Ryan Sweeting. As it stands I'll have to wait and see who makes it through to Friday.

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how Australian tennis is in turmoil with accusations flying left and right. In the same post I talked about the state of quiet desperation tennis in the United States is in. So how are the Brit's doing?

It seems all hell broke loose after the British Davis Cup team, led by John Lloyd, above, best known on this side of the pond for being Chris Evert's first husband, lost to Lithuania. The whole point of Davis Cup is that any country, on any given day, can beat another country. The loss to "lowly" Lithuania however has caused the tennis bigwigs in Britain to pull their hair out by the roots and begin to demand something to show for the large amounts of money that have been tossed at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Admittedly I don't know much about John Lloyd's tennis brain but I wonder if he's going down in flames for problems he did not create.

Back in 2006 Roger Draper took over the LTA based on his success with Sport England and I remember him vowing to stop the bullshit and bring success to British tennis. To say that hasn't happened is an understatement.
There were rumors of tons of money was allocated to "stipends" for promising young British players and there was talk of stopping the payments unless there were results on the tennis courts. Now, along with John Lloyd, calls are being made asking that Draper step aside.

So who would take John Lloyd's place? Talk is that Tim Henman is in the running. Boris Becker, who, when last I checked, is German, has also thrown in his two cents. I guess since the roots of the current British Royal Family are German he has the right to register an opinion.
Meanwhile The BBC posted the following:

World number four Andy Murray won both his singles matches for Britain as they lost to Poland in September, but missed the match against Lithuania to concentrate on preparing for this season's Grand Slams.

The Scot, who moved to Spain as a teenager to continue his training, was supported in his decision by Draper, though David Lloyd believes Murray should have been encouraged to play.

"Murray didn't come from the system. His mother was brave enough to take him out of it," said Lloyd, who is also a successful entrepreneur with a chain of fitness and tennis clubs.
"Roger is wrong endorsing the fact that Andy shouldn't have played. That was a bad call.

"I would try and encourage him to play and give something back to the game.
"I would ask him to play against Turkey. We want him to help our young kids. We all owe something to the game."

The article is based on comments by David Lloyd who is, you guessed it, John Lloyd's brother. He is also a former Davis Cup captain which totally gives him the right to speak. I also think his talk of "encouraging" Andy Murray to play the tie against Turkey stops just short of dark colored vans and men in black. I think.

Serena Williams Wins Laureus Award

Serena Williams has won the Laureus Award for Sportswoman of the Year for the second time. The award was given to her for winning two grand slams and regaining the number one ranking in women's tennis in 2009. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won the men's award. Kim Clijsters won the comeback award. Serena has also won the Comeback Player of the Year award making her the recipient of three Laureus awards.

End Notes

I took a few days off and of course the world kept turning. In the little reported on WTA tournament in Monterrey, Mexico Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Daniela Hantuchova to win the title. With the men playing Davis Cup it was the only pro level event last week.

Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova won the Doubles Crown.

Meanwhile David Nalbandian, who flew to Sweden from Argentina at the last minute to help motivate his countrymen during their tie against Sweden ended up catapulting them to victory. Nalbandian has been out for months with injury and was not expected to be able to contribute much.

After John Isner's heroics in defeat Nalbandian's is the biggest story to come out of last weekends play.