Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Paris In the Spring - RG Day 4

by Savannah


Why is anyone shocked that Taylor Dent served as a door mat for someone who can really play on clay? I'm stunned he even made it to the second round. The United States tennis establishment is determined to shove serve and volley down the throats of the rest of the world where it is rightly seen as a tactic during a match and not the sole strategy.

The announcer on ESPN3 calling the Aravane Rezai vs Angelique Kerber match said that the way Rezai plays reminds him of American trained female players. He's not totally wrong.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga complained bitterly during his post match presser today about his scheduling request not being granted.

Q. So you didn't want to play on Sunday? So you're surprised, I suppose. You're French No. 1, we're in France, this is a French tournament and an important one. Were you surprised? Did it get on your nerves to be imposed to play on a Sunday?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I expected this question, to tell you what I think about this. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed because I was playing on a Sunday. I had asked not to play on a Sunday, absolutely, because I had practiced in such a way that I thought I wanted to play on a Monday or Tuesday, to be totally fit.
But they imposed it on me. I had to play on a Sunday. I have to accept the rules. This is the game and this is it.
Now, if you're world No. 80 and you're not that important in the hierarchy, if I can say, loads of things are imposed on you in this case. What really bothered me is that, you know, if you look at Murray, if he decides on a day or hour at Wimbledon, nobody's going to impose anything on him.
For Federer in his country it's the same. In the U.S. I suppose it's the tame thing for the best American players. I think that Lleyton probably plays in the sun during the Australian Open because he loves the sun and other opponents don't like the sun. He wants to play in the sun.
Today we're in France. I'm French. I'm French No. 1. I would have thought it was legitimate for me to be listened to, that I would be given a choice. They should listen to me when I wanted to play or start.
But I accepted the rules, and that's all. I'm disappointed. That's true, because I expected a bit more from the organization and the rest, but this is the way it is. I mean, had I lost on Sunday because I was not feeling good, then many people would have been disappointed. This would have been a bit silly, I think.
But it wasn't the case, so I'm here, and I'm fit. I'm ready to play. This story will continue, and that's the end of the story.

Q. Is it a lesson for you? Will it not change your behavior vis a vis number of top managers to be firmer and to behave like someone who's got nerves?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: No, no, because I'm quite open, and organizer or not, my job is to play tennis. Sometimes there are unforeseen events, so we have to adapt. But what I expected from them is to listen to me a little.
But, you know, sometimes it's this thing here, that thing there. You know, during Davis Cups you don't necessarily play in the towns you would like to play in. I'm French No. 1. I can't really decide when I'm going to start the tournament, which is at home.
So, you know, all these little details which sometimes can be quite annoying, sometimes we complain because we don't have enough good French players, but sometimes we're not given the best conditions. I think it's a bit of a pity.

I read that one of the Russian women made a similar request to the FFT and her request was granted while Tsonga's, along with that of a tired Richard Gasquet's, were not. Bitch on Jo.

The following exchange happened during Dinara Safina's post match presser yesterday. It's being reported by the Russian press.

Q: For how long do you plan to work with your new coach?
A: When you go out with a girl for a few times do you also ask her for how long she plans to date you?

Q: Your today's opponent left tennis for 10 years and then returned. Now she is winning. Maybe you should do that too?
A: Stupid questions you have today... (and left the room)

I would've left after punching the reporter in the face. At least she didn't cut and run like Viktoria Azarenka.

Cat Fight

Rezai on Bartoli: "Marion is a difficult girl....She attacked me many times in the press. "I don't have the same education as the one she has...I have respect for players."

Matches of the Day
No one expects anything from Svetlana Kuznetsova this French Open. Not only is she not expected to compete she was relegated to Court 1 for her match today. Instead of succumbing to expectations Sveta gutted out a three set win over a game Andrea Petkovic who actually served for the match in the second set. Sveta has played two matches and had to come from behind in both of them. I'm not saying she'll repeat as champion but she's not going down without a fight.

There are matches still being played as I post this. It's now going on 9p in Paris. Tomorrow's schedule will be interesting.

“One of the most amazing sights that I could barely see.”
Patrick McEnroe

In the heat of battle men should not be asked to make a decision about whether to stop and continue at a later time. Too much adrenaline and too much testosterone are flowing in their bodies and the thought process is muddled at best.

This is the decision Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini were asked to make during the fifth set of their match. Monflls had been up two sets to none and looked to be cruising when Fognini woke up and leveled the match at two sets all. It was already late and as we all know Roland Garros has no lights. Figuring that common sense would prevail I figured they would stop play at 3-all. I was wrong. Instead an argument broke out and that guy named Drama who is always hanging out in the corner sipping scotch got up and took over. Both men wanted to continue. Fognini's camp was telling him to get off the court but he refused. Monfils was already walking back on court as if to say he was finished talking and it was time to play. Fognini got up in chair ump Carlos Bernardes face and next thing you know he penalized Fognini one point for delay. By this time it was pitch black and both players, pros that they are, were playing on instinct, knowing where the lines are and making sure they kept the ball away from them. For the most part that is. The only light was cast by the scoreboard and to say it was eerie was putting it mildly.

In the end, with the score at five all play was suspended. Monfils, who had been gung-ho to continue from the beginning was cramping and yet managed to play well. Fognini cursed his way off the court. Some are saying Carlos is not going to chair the conclusion of the match tomorrow because he gave Fognini the point penalty. The arguing had gone on for six minutes and it was time to crab or carry the basket. If he doesn't chair the conclusion I hope it's because he has another match to work.

If you're thinking this is a back to the future scenario it is. Last year it was Andy Roddick playing against Gael Monfils and the darkness.

It's going to be exciting to see how this all ends. Monfils was cramping at the end of play.

By the way matches featuring John Isner, Marcos Baghdatis and Andy Murray will also resume tomorrow.

In other news...

Husband and wife tennis players looking to be based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Late last year, soon after Australian husband-and-wife team Jarmila and Sam Groth lost their individual $150,000 scholarships at the Australian Institute of Sport, they received an offer they could not refuse. It was from Gavin Hopper, now involved with a new tennis academy in Turkey. Within months, the Groths, too, will be based in Istanbul.
Hopper is an experienced coach and trainer, whose clients before he served a 27-month jail term for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old student while a teacher at Wesley College in the 1980s, included Mark Philippoussis and Monica Seles. He also founded an academy on the Gold Coast with former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. More recently, he has been working for the Turkish Tennis Federation and living with his family in Istanbul for several years.


Paul Annacone will not have his contract renewed by the Lawn Tennis Association when it expires in November of this year.


vmw3 said...

Bartoli in 2007:

She says that she felt like she was playing against a foreigner because Rezai doesn't really hang out with the other French girls and they see her very rarely. When confronted with comparisons between her father and Rezai's, she adds that her dad isn't Rezai's.

"I don't have the same education as the one she has...I have respect for players."

What respect is she talking about? Rezai's daddy was charged with assaulting and using insulting language against another French player's family, etc. I hope Petrova or Venus takes Rezai out, and soon.

Karen said...

The thing is that there is so much jealousy involved in tennis that this is nothing new. About the only cohesive units are the Spanish and Italians and even they have their issues but most of it is kept out of the limelight. The Russians are always at odds over Fed Cup. The US goes without saying. Rezai is no saint herself. She had some pretty unfavourable remarks to make about her colleagues, specifically Serena and Jankovic. She needs to learn how to be tactful because people like Serena will certainly give her a what for. For my money you earn the right to talk big when you have accomplished something big in this sport. I do not know whether it is because of her injuries or the fact that she is not as much in the spotlight, her positive outlook on life or whatever it is, but I am slowly being drawn to Sharapova. I think I like this version of her. Very composed, optimistic and humble. Perhaps the time away from the game and carrying a career threatening injury as well as how the media have embraced the returning Belgians has really got me saying to myself, boy this girl is really tough.

Helen W said...

Interesting about Sharapova, Karen, but I am feeling the exact same thing. I wouldn't call myself a fan of hers by any means, but I do have grudging respect for the way she always fights, even while injured. And AFAIK, she avoids all the trash talking.

I know some of my previous dislike of her was probably nothing to do with her, but caused by the way the WTA puffed her up. Plus I've never liked the shrieking.

But she's got guts.

Kia said...

What did Rezai say about Serena? I know about her static w/ Bartoli but she was very gracious to Venus after the Madrid match.

I find it a lot easier to tolerate Sharapova with Yuri out of the picture. I have no idea what input he has these days but I'm glad to see a lot less of him.

vmw3 said...

What has she said about Serena and JJ? I must have missed it.

Karen said...

HelenW, yes she does and she is proving it now with coming back from injury than when the media used to put her on a pedestal. She is not afraid to call her coach down and consult with him when things are not going right and I have been able to see beyond the media glare just exactly who she is. It cannot have been easy for her to be thrust into the spotlight and be anointed to save a tour, knowing fully well that she was not capable of doing so. You can see and hear the distress and her state of mind whenever her coach comes down on court. The doubts that are going through her every time she steps on the court is manifest within her and while the media did not see it, Sharapova knew and her handlers knew. It came out first in 2008 during her match in Charleston against Serena where Joyce told her "you have to believe" that alone told me all I needed to know, but I am beginning to like her. Not sure I will ever be a fan but she has guts that is for sure.

Karen said...

Rezai said that she was not impressed with Serena's game after Serena beat her in Sydney earlier this year. This after Rezai served for the match and was up a break in the third set. Serena completely ignored her. She was acting out on the court, fist pumping and shouting after every winner. Serena completely ignored but sent back some scorching returns so that she could know that while she may be winning the battle, no way was she going to win the war.

As to Jankovic, after playing Jankovic in Madrid I think it was she said that Jankovic was not a nice person. She said she had a nice game and hit some good shots but she was not nice. Dont think Jankovic responded to those allegations either.

vmw3 said...

Thanks,seems like Rezai has a problem with lots of players. Hopefully she just had a fluke win in Madrid.