Monday, July 12, 2010

The Reign of Spain

by Savannah
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If you don't know why this octopus is the most famous animal on the planet right now you have been living in a cave. Named Paul, the cephalopod mollusk correctly predicted the outcome of eight out of eight World Cup matches including the eventual winner Spain. The Washington Post reports this morning that the now famous oracle was given his own replica of the World Cup. As of now there is no truth to any rumors about Paul taking his act to Vegas.
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While on the subject of the World Cup I'm sure the NFL has emailed players saying that while cleats to the chest of a man who is not wearing any protective gear underneath his jersey is not a red card offense in the World Cup any attempts at duplicating this will result in a flagrant foul being called.
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American sports fans also know this guy got off easy. Try to get at the Super Bowl or World Series trophy. I'm just saying.
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To kind of segue back to tennis this gentleman was seen in South Africa. It appears that he has yet to meet a trophy he doesn't like.
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This is the first year I've been able to watch the World Cup from beginning to end and I have to say I totally enjoyed it. Here in the States we have an event called the World Series as well as the Super Bowl but nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to what goes on for the month the World Cup takes place.
It is truly a spectacle and it's a good thing it's only held every four years.
This was the first World Cup held on the continent of Africa and despite all the people predicting gloom and doom it went off without a hitch. No hooliganism in the stands, nothing. Everyone seemed to be having a great time blowing the now famous, or infamous, vuvuzelas.
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I did read some fan posts saying that Spain has a racist history towards players from the African continent and that that was reason enough to not support the Spanish team. I guess they forget that the word "apartheid" is a Dutch word and defined the racial caste system that dominated South Africa. No Western European country has a clean record when it comes to the African continent. All I can say is haters to the left.

Davis Cup

Davis Cup played second fiddle, as did all other sports, to the World Cup but there were some stunning surprises in the results. I'm posting the World Group quarterfinal results today. I'll post the complete results tomorrow.

WORLD GROUP QUARTERFINALS


FRANCE defeated SPAIN 5-0
Venue: Grande Halle d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France (hard - indoors)
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Gael Monfils (FRA) d. David Ferrer (ESP) 76(3) 62 46 57 64
Michael Llodra (FRA) d. Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 67(5) 64 63 76(2)
Julien Benneteau/Michael Llodra (FRA) d. Feliciano Lopez/Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 61 62 67(6) 76(5)
Gilles Simon (FRA) d, Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 76(4) 76(7)
Julien Benneteau (FRA) d. Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 76(3) 64
Spain going out to nil is stunning. After it's horrid World Cup performance I think the French were on a mission. Michael Llodra, above was the most valuable player on the French side.

ARGENTINA defeated RUSSIA 3-2
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Moscow, Russia (hard - indoors)
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David Nalbandian (ARG) d. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 64 76(5) 76(6)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) d. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 63 61 64
Eduardo Schwank/Horacio Zeballos (ARG) d. Nikolay Davydenko/Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 76(7) 64 67(3) 61
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) d. Eduardo Schwank (ARG) 46 63 61 64
David Nalbandian (ARG) d. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 76(5) 64 63
The world met David Nalbandian's brother from another mother Diego Forlan from Uruguay during the World Cup but David got to dance a jig while dodging water as Argentina defeated Russia in Russia. Think I'm kidding about Forlan?
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SERBIA defeated CROATIA 4-1
Venue: Spaladium Arena, Split, Croatia (hard – indoors)
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Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) 76(3) 64 61
Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Viktor Troicki (SRB) 64 75 62
Janko Tipsarevic/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) d. Marin Cilic/Ivan Dodig (CRO) 63 62 64
Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. Marin Cilic (CRO) 63 63 62
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) d. Antonio Veic (CRO) 62 76(5)
Serbia overcame the ugliness that greeted their arrival in Croatia by defeating the Croatian team on its own soil.

CZECH REPUBLIC defeated CHILE 3-0
Venue: Enjoy Tennis Center, Coquimbo, Chile (clay - outdoors)
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Ivo Minar (CZE) d. Nicolas Massu (CHI) 60 62 63
Jan Hajek (CZE) d. Paul Capdeville (CHI) 60 62 61
Lukas Dlouhy/Jan Hajek (CZE) d. Jorge Aguilar/Nicolas Massu (CHI) 76(3) 63 36 63
Nicolas Massu (CHI) v Jan Hajek (CZE)
Cristobal Saavedra-Corvalan (CHI) v Ivo Minar (CZE)
The Czech Republic (got that Hannah Storm?) won rather easily over Chile. the semi finals will see France vs Argentina in France and the Czech Republic vs Serbia in Serbia.

Weekend Winners
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Aravane Rezai holds her trophy after winning the singles title in Bastad.
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Agnes Szavay successfully defended her title in Budapest defeating Patty Schnyder in the final.
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Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko won the doubles crown in Bastad.
Timea Bacsinszky and Tathiana Garbin won the doubles crown in Budapest.
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Mardy Fish won the title in Newport.
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Carsten Ball and Chris Guccione won the doubles title at Newport.
Unfortunately an investigation into possible illegal gambling has been launched against the match between Christophe Rochus and Richard Bloomfield. Bloomfield, a British player ranked #552 in the world defeated Rochus. As usual tremendous sums of money were involved. This is the second time Bloomfield's name has come up in relation to gambling.

Idle Chit Chat
Tennis players were still out and about last week. There is photographic proof of this.
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Alona Bondarenko married her coach Nikolay Dyachok on July 8 in the Ukraine. It's important to say they were married in the Ukraine otherwise residents of the United States would think the wedding took place somewhere in the South.
A formal church wedding and reception was held afterwards.
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Venus Williams looked very nice while out promoting her new book.
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Serena Williams attended the wedding of basketball star Carmelo Anthony to former MTV vj Lala Vasquez. That looks like her sister Isha in the background.
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This man was seen almost Monogramless on the beach.
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Maybe Andy Roddick wants to get into acting. With his new haircut maybe he's lobbying for a role in a remake of the HBO prison drama Oz?

End Notes
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No they're not rioting over some political situation. It's just Spanish fans getting their party on after their country's win in the World Cup. I think the image below is a much more fitting last image.
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God willing and the creek don't rise I hope to be able to witness another World Cup in four years.

4 comments:

lynney62 said...

Great write-up, Savannah! I too loved the WC....picked Spain at the very start and they came thru for me! Guess Paul and I have that one thing in common. Thanx for all the lovely pics too!

TennisAce said...

I am one of the haters who have moved to the left. I would have hoped that neither team won. The Dutch because they coined the word apartheid and Spain because they are one of many European countries that have benefitted from the treatment of the African continent.

I was really hoping one of the African countries would have made it into the semis but the minute that Ghana went, I did too.

It is hard not to look at the history of countries and the way they have treated other countries, and in particular Africa. One would really hope that in the spirit of forgiveness that folks like me (or haters like me) would have been able to move beyond it. But there can only be forgiveness if and when it is asked for.

As no European country has ever asked for forgiveness, save and except England to those of us in the West Indies, it is hard to really forgive those who continue to exploit black people on the continent.

As a black woman, and as someone whose writings I have always respected, the fact that you so dismissively discard the legitimate views of persons who know their history is a sad day for all black people. Very disappointed in your response. Haters to the left indeed. I wonder if Mandela or any of those who fought for equality and freedoms would have just decided that haters to the left would have been an appropriate response.

Savannah said...

TA perhaps it's necessary to explain why I said what I said.

The posts extolling the Dutch to the detriment of the Spaniards were made by the same tennis "fans" who regularly spend an inordinate amount of time bashing Venus Willams and Serena Williams for reasons I know I don't have to explain to you, the same people who are looking for someone to "save" women's tennis.

As a woman of both African Caribbean and African American descent I am very much aware of what was done to the African continent by ALL of the European countries who managed to get a stake in the continent.

What Spain did to the Aztec and Incan civilizations is inexcusable. What England and France did in their territories is inexcusable. What Belgium did in the Congo is inexcusable. What the Dutch did in South Africa is inexcusable.

I too wanted an African country to make it to the semi finals but you can't overlook the fact that not one African nation had one of it's own coaching their national teams. If there was one I missed him and I apologize. One of the announcers said that many of the European coaches came on board in the last few months, for shitloads of money. That was not even close to enough time to learn a culture and work with a team. Ghana did the best of all the teams from the African continent. I was glad to see them make it as far as they did but in the end lack of cohesion did them in.

I stick by my "Haters" remark. I'm sorry you felt I had given up my card. I haven't. :)

TennisAce said...

Savannah, thanks for taking the time to respond and I understand your point of view. Usually when I go to message boards and I see hate filled language disguising itself as intelligent discussions, I use this little adage that I teach my children, "in every relationship, someone has to be the adult".

In this situation, while I understand your use of the term "haters to the left", it would also have been good to use your blog to denounce those who would hide behind serious discussions to spew their venom.

A lot of bloggers abscond from the responsibility of contributing more to society by stating that well it is my blog and I can do whatever I want. True, but with that sort of freedom to express oneself comes some amount of responsibility.

There are a lot of blogs that I used to follow because the writings of the blogger used to be objective, even though you just knew that the blogger did not appreciate a certain viewpoint, but then the blogger has done what many others before have done. They have used their own personal hate to come through or allow others with hate similar to their own to control them.

While I understand that you were addressing those persons who were hell bent on using their racist rants to make their argument, methinks a more appropriate response would have been similar to what you wrote in your response to me.

Anyway, peace