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.


Helen W said...

You'd love to have the shirt? I'd love to be able to Hold on Tight :)

Savannah said...

Helen I have to keep my fangirl urges to a minimum...

Karen said...

What annoyed me was that he was made to take it off. Glad that he did as we got to see the abs, but sorry that he had to because it was a great message. On another note you cannot post a blind item like the one you just did about alleged statements that Rafa made without providing said alleged statement. Information girl, information :)

Kia said...

What did Gimelstob say about Davenport? Inquiring minds want to know? : )

Karen said...

FYI - Vera went out today. Somehow I get the feeling that not a lot of the players really enjoy playing out there. Federer said that the atmosphere is too stiff because it is more a retirement village. He said it is not as exciting as Miami. He says that now that he is older and married and has the children plus his parents come so he enjoys it more now, but I doubt if any of the players who went out are crying tears of frustration. Probably happy they are in Miami now living it up

Karen said...

Also Savannah, pray tell how did Justin diss Lindsay. I d not have TC so have no idea what is happening

Savannah said...

I didn't hear it but it's said that the Slob was calling her "fat" in not so subtle ways.

Savannah said...

From a Twitter post by TennisReporters

"Nadal says knee is good, thinks he was playing great in Aussie and could have beaten Murray and won tournament if not for injury"

What was actually said:

Q. Rafa, coming back, after Australia with the injury, did it scare you? Were you very concerned? Did you think maybe it's not such a big deal, couple weeks, I'll be fine?

RAFAEL NADAL: I practice very hard and I worked very hard in Mallorca in December, working hard. When you have an injury in the second tournament is always difficult to accept, especially because I was playing really well, no?
And anyway, I can lose quarterfinals in Australia against Andy for sure. But, you know, I was another time playing -- my feeling is I was playing -- I was ready to win.
I was believing I can win the tournament there. I can lose against Andy, but at the same time you stop, you feel another time like you have to start another time stop, no?
That was the worst thing, because I was playing really well, and if I really have the chance to continue playing Rotterdam and Davis Cup, it's going to be much better to play these tournaments. But I think I am playing well.

Q. As well as Andy played early in that match, had you not gotten the injury, do you think maybe you had a chance to win that match?

RAFAEL NADAL: I had the chance. I had the chance. I had break in the first, break in the second, and I was playing at very good level. I think he play really well, too. It was a really good match, no? Nothing to say but congratulate him.
I had a problem in the end of the second set, but before that was a great match, I think. Both players played really well, and I feel like I was at the top the whole time.


Savannah said...

Maybe the 140 character limit hampered the reporter?

Karen said...

Oh no he did not. I hope Lindsay bitch slapped him. I have to say that I did not like that outfit that Lindsay wore to the Hit for Haiti. Made her look like a school marm. The skirt was too long and even though it may have been chilly those long sleeves made her look even more school marmish. She did not look fat to me. She looked like a real woman.

On another note on this whole Nicole/Radek wedding and retirement, you know people have been speculating for so long as to why a beautiful girl like Nicole would take up with someone like Radek. The answer: Daddy. Nicole never knew her father as she was raised by her stepfather who was also her coach. From the time she was quite young she had been moulded into this persona. Someone who would play tennis for a living and be good at it. I think when the time came she rebelled. I think she was also looking for comfort and for someone to take care of her, not in the romantic sense, but more like how a father would care for his daughter. It made the transition smoother for romance because not only is Radek much older but he is also from her native country. I cannot begin to understand what she must have gone through for years at Bolliterri learning to speak another language, being drilled in tennis day in and day out, living up to sponsors' expectations etc. I think it all took its toll and she just decided to hell with it. Radek who was in the picture perhaps providing a comforting ear and from then on it just led to romance and the rest as they say is history. I am doubtful if she will come back but I also doubt that she will end up being barefoot and married and travelling the world as Radek's WAG. Perhaps she could use this opportunity to go back to school and see what else life has to offer. I wish her good fortune in whatever she attempts to do. She was always a favourite player of mine.

Karen said...

I am glad you posted this Samantha because not only did they cut and paste as they wanted to, but they did it with someone who at no point can you say he did not say it. Now it makes you think long and hard every time you read an excerpt of an article and see a quote attributed to someone, we should all stop and think and say to ourselves, did he really say that or was he misquoted, because there is no doubt that Rafa did say what was reported on twitter. The difference lies in the way the quote was being presented. The questions that were asked and the responses given. Boy, these reporters just know how to stir up trouble. Wish that they would do proper reporting rather than try and start fires amongst the players.
Apropos of nothing, I saw an interview where Fed said that he spoke to Rafa about his injury and it was not the usual, how you doing, but a really long sit down discussion about how Rafa was doing. He then went on to say that both he and Rafa have really made each improve their games to a new level and this part I really loved, he said that both of them have matured a lot since this rivalry has started. I thought that was so true.

Savannah said...

The implication of the original post and what was actually said is, to say the least, mean spirited.

vw said...

We planned a trip to Arizona to see my daughter and drove down to IW for the kickoff weekend. It was very warm during the day and nights were very cold. I even wore my eskimo parka from Chicago. The night Djok played Fish it had to be 50 degrees. SRO crowds- I tried to get into Stadium 2 with Davy and Gulbis but could not do it. I tried everything. Meantime, center court with Kuz was empty. The only bright spot was the hit for Haiti fiasco. I think I'll stick with Cincy- more intimate and no freezing involved.

Savannah said...

Thank you for the report vw. Freezing is the last thing you have to worry about in Cincy, or New York for that matter.