Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wimbledon 2010 - The Week that Was

by Savannah

Event of the Week
Apparently 80+ is the new fifty. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II made her first trip to Wimbledon in 33 years and brought down the house. There was a chance for mere athletes, normally the kings and queens of their own special universes, to meet someone who is Queen of an actual geographic location.
From Roger Federer in a smartly tailored suit to Novak Djokovic in what I read is a dress track suit and Andy Roddick in an obviously borrowed, and too small, waiters Jacket (you mean no one in his entourage knew he needed a suit jacket?) the stars of the tennis world lined up for a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Between American golden girl Betty White and Her Majesty women in their eighties are taking the world by storm. Work it ladies.

An Historic Match
John Isner of the United States, above, and Nicolas Mahut, below, showed what happens when testosterone and ego mix in a tennis match. Neither man wanted to give in to his opponent and ended up playing an eleven hour plus match on Court 18.
It was great theater and deserves to be in the record books.
Special mention should be made of the chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, who said that his flying coach helped him sit in one place during Day 2 of the marathon.

Things I'm Not Going To Talk About Anymore

  • Alisa Kleybanova needs to get her ass in shape so she can be the player she can be. I mean really Alisa. When the commentators are openly speculating you weigh about 250 it's time to step away from the table.
  • Gael Monfils needs his head examined and/or to stop partying, and or caring about entertaining the crowd. The bimbos will be there when your career is over. You should keep in mind that a career in tennis is short.
  • There is more to the WTA than Maria Sharapova. Or Justine Henin. Or Kim Clijsters.
  • Laura Robson. After calling her peers "sluts" young Ms Robson tweeted yesterday that she was on her way to the players restaurant where one Mr. Marat Safin was dining. Said she was hungry all of a sudden. She is now in the running for the Blanche Devereaux Award. Then again when it comes to Marat most women fall into the slut category. Ahem.
  • Mary Jo Fernandez and the conflict of interest her appearances present.
  • Hannah Storm. She's not twenty anymore. At least the other idiot woman they had on (Can't remember her name) knew how old she is and was not trying to be half her age on camera. And she got the names right and had learned something about tennis before starting her gig. After she said that Venus was up two sets to love when she was actually up a set and two love, and didn't correct herself, I keep the mute button on when she's there. Guess she didn't know that if Venus was up two sets to love the match would be over. I'm just saying. I also love how Mary Carillo looks as if she wants to bitch slap her everytime they're forced together. Drah-mah dears. Drah-mah.
One of the talking heads, commentating on the women's doubles, mentioned that Venus Williams and Serena Williams are the top doubles team. It bears repeating. Top doubles team. Fancy that haters.

Is An Exorcism Needed?

Call in the Winchester brothers. Court 18 may need a ritual cleansing. Victor Hanescu suffered a complete emotional breakdown during his match on that court. Apparently a fan had been insulting him for most of the match. He appealed to the chair and got no help. The abuse continued as the fan was allowed to stay. When he'd had all he could he spit in the direction of the fan and then allowed himself to be defaulted. He was fined about 15,000 pounds for both infractions. I don't know who the chair ump was. Hanescu, normally a stoic man, has apologized. There's nothing more here.

Order of Play for Monday, June 28th.


1. Roger Federer (SUI) [1] vs Jurgen Melzer (AUT) [16]
2. Serena Williams (USA) [1] vs Maria Sharapova (RUS) [16]
3. Sam Querrey (USA) [18] vs Andy Murray (GBR) [4]


1. Kim Clijsters (BEL) [8] vs Justine Henin (BEL) [17]
2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) [3] vs Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) [15]
3. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2]


1. Jarmila Groth (AUS) vs Venus Williams (USA) [2]
2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [3] vs Petra Kvitova (CZE)
3. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) vs Andy Roddick (USA) [5]


1. Vera Zvonareva (RUS) [21] vs Jelena Jankovic (SRB) [4]
2. Julien Benneteau (FRA) [32] vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [10]
3. Robin Soderling (SWE) [6] vs David Ferrer (ESP) [9]


1. Na Li (CHN) [9] vs Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [7]
2. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [12] vs Daniel Brands (GER)


1. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) vs Marion Bartoli (FRA) [11]
2. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) vs Kaia Kanepi (EST)

Mention should be made of the players I highlighted above. If you are a casual fan and watch Wimbledon coverage in the States I'm pretty sure you have no idea who any of these players are. No one is expecting any of them to win the tournament but if I were Marion Bartoli I'd be a tad worried and hope that Ms Pironkova succombs to nerves. She has a nice collection of scalps and she'd love to add yours to her collection.

End Notes

The week was dominated by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the marathon match on Court 18. Because of these two events a lot of decent commentary, not fan boy or girl stuff but good commentary, on the quality of the tennis that was played went by the wayside. Instead we got the laughing, giggling, and general nonsense one expects when ESPN has the lead on coverage. This is not to say that other announcers don't have their favorites and that they don't react like fans when their faves go down in flames. It's just that it's not the entirety of their coverage. ESPN3 is using the BBC feed and it's amazing how differently John McEnroe commentates there as opposed to his work on NBC for example.
And don't get me started on NBC and their three hour window for tennis coverage. Tennis is like baseball or golf. There is a start time but when it finishes is anybody's guess. If it weren't for live streams online tennis fans would've had to endure watching a match many had already seen on ESPN3 or knew the final score of. Meanwhile live tennis was being played, live tennis where at least one American was playing. I presume many American fans would've been interested in seeing it but unless you had computer access you were shit out of luck.
To add insult to injury there was Hannah Storm creating a new tennis player out of thin air. Elena Dushevina apparently played this week. What happened to Vera Dushevina? Is Elena a sister or is Dushevina a common Russian name? None of her mistakes were corrected.
If you want to cover tennis you have to provide competent commentators. Every now and then Mary Carillo proves that she knows something. Pam Shriver should know better than to talk in a normal voice during a match. Mary Jo Fernandez does know her tennis but she's tainted goods as far as I'm concerned.

I do have to mention Boris Becker's commentating yesterday. I'll have to hear him cover a match where a fellow German isn't playing. He whined more than a hungry child when things started going south for his countryman. Not professional but hey, the others do it.

Final Thoughts
It was a good week of tennis. The surprises were truly surprises. Fernando Verdasco losing so early was a big surprise but maybe it shouldn't have been. He's played a lot this year and will hopefully take the time off for mental and physical rejuvenation.
Victoria Azarenka's loss was a surprise but her play has not been good of late. Bad coaching change? It's too early to say. She was hampered by injury during the lead up to Wimbledon and maybe she should've given herself more time to rest her body. I wish I could say I was surprised by Svetlana Kuznetsova's early departure. She doesn't seem to be focused this year for some reason. Feliciano Lopez seemed to want to be somewhere else.
And then there was this stunner. C Eaton (GBR) / D Inglot (GBR) d [1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) 75 57 76(4) 67(3) 86.
Eaton? Inglot? Who the hell are they?
There was good play as evidenced by all the players who made it through to the second week. Tomorrow is one of the most anticipated days in the tennis world. Maybe Hannah Storm will do some reading up on just how tennis is scored and who the players are today. Then again why should she? Tennis is still treated as the red haired stepchild of sports.


rabbit said...

Apparently, someone was insulting Hanescu's sick mother. Especially after his apology, I think his behavior is understandable.

Savannah said...

So do I. Do you know who the chair ump was and why the "fan" wasn't removed especially after Hanescu asked that he/she be?

Ben said...

Great post. I enjoy your style of writing a lot, especially your "Things I'm Not Going To Talk About Anymore" section. Hilarious!

Wow. Was Djokovic really wearing a tracksuit when he met the Queen? That's crazy!

By the way, I've linked to your blog from mine:

I look forward to reading more of your stuff!


vw said...

I feel for Hanescu.The umpire ruined it for him. Last year at the USO quarters Nestor and Z were playing A. Ram and Mirnyi and a fan was harrassing N&Z the whole time. Nestor complained to idiot/moron Lynn Welch and she did nothing. Nestor I think said something or gave the finger to that fan and he was fined. They were rattled and lost. Then at the net, Ram was smiling and N asked why Ram couldn't control his "fan." Ram got very pushy and the hothead Ram to be pulled away from N by Mirnyi. Nestor told Welch to have better control of the match and that this was not Davis cup. Nestor said this fan harrassed them at Cincy too. She said nothing. She really sucked and I don't like her to this day. I wrote a complaint letter about her but she's still working. It seems Ram can't keep a steady partner either. Erlich was playing dubs with Djok at Queens and Mirnyi has a new partner too.

Savannah said...

VW Mariana Alves is still employed and working matches so why not Lynn Welch or the idiot who let this situation go on?
I'm just saying.

rabbit said...

Savannah, I think it was Gerry Armstrong, but I'm not 100% sure.