Monday, August 2, 2010

Of Concrete, Dirt and Coaches

by Savannah

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan of the United States now own the record for most wins by a doubles team. On Sunday they won their 62d title surpassing the Australian team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. Congratulations to Bob and Mike on their achievement.

This was the week where if you won a tournament you either got a punchbowl of some kind or a middle school art project.
Nicolas Almagro won the singles title at Gstaad and ended up with this beauty. I'm sure he's glad he'll only get a replica of this to take home. Imagine that in your trophy room.
I'm sure a load was lifted from Juan-Carlos Ferrero's shoulders when he won the title at Umag on Sunday. I'm also pretty sure he was glad he wouldn't have to lug this beauty home. Replica indeed.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won the title in Istanbul, a match I thought was over in the first set and not in her favor. The trophy looks like something you'd find in your gynecologist's office. Ladies?
If you have one of those home theater set ups I hope your ears have stopped bleeding if you watched the match between Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka at Stanford. Azarenka won. She got a nice punch bowl for her efforts.
L Friedl and F Polasek won the doubles crown at Umag.
J Brunstrom and J Nieminen took the prize at Gstaad.
The team of Daniilidou and Woehr won the doubles at Istanbul.
Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber won the doubles title at Stanford. Huber is holding the punch bowl.

blog Alexandra Mueller

Alexandra Mueller won the women's US Open National Playoffs. She gets a Wild Card into the qualifying tournament.

A Bird In the Hand...
I'm sure Andy Murray is thinking about what a craptastic week he had. An official announcement was made that he had fired his long time, for Murray, coach and was looking to hire someone new. That someone new was said to be Darren Cahill who is part of the Adidas team of coaches. That notion was shot down when Cahill, on live television, said, and I'm paraphrasing, that he wasn't interested in full time coaching and would only have considered it if he'd been called by Roger Federer. Ouch? During yesterday's championship match against Sam Querrey Murray, with no one to yell at (Not that it stopped him. The string of expletives that flew nonstop from his mouth would've gotten Serena Williams a violation) got so frustrated he punched his racquet strings. They can cut you. See blood on shirt as Exhibit A. Reports today say with Cahill out of the picture it's not clear who wants to step up for the chance to be on the receiving end of a Murray charm offensive. Will he go into the US Open without a coach? We'll all be waiting to find out.

Fashion Statement of the Week
Maria Sharapova was the best dressed woman this week. I've been giving her this notice a lot lately. Good work by whoever is designing her clothes at Nike.


TennisAce said...

Savannah, shame on you. Don't you know that Sharapova sits in a corner of her multi-million dollar mansion and designs her outfits for Nike, a la Venus and Serena Williams?

I am also stunned that you did not provide any outtakes on the narratives now being written in tennis, especially as it relates to Sharapova. I am writing an article on it as soon as I have had a chance to get my thoughts together.

Things got so bad in relation to the commentary during the Sharapova/Radwanska match that viewers online watching via ttv streaming started writing to tennistv asking them to put a mute button on their live stream link or some went so far as to ask the commentator to be a tad more objective in the commentary as many Radwanska fans were feeling very put out by the commentary. It stopped for about 10 minutes and then he was back at it again.

At one point it sounded as if he was reading from a script and he had to ensure that he got all the information across during the whole match. We heard about the shoulder, the recover, the surgery, her achievements and to cap it all off the fact that she is a UN Ambassador and donated money to Chernobyl.

In yesterday's final, Carillo made mention of the fact that Sharapova wants to win every tournament she enters unlike some others who only concentrate on the big events. That got in an uproar.

It was hilarious when the night before the double faults were attributed to the lights. Then the day before that it was the sun and then come final Sunday it was tiredness. Narrative. It is being written and a lot of bloggers seem to be joining in on the fun. They will not be able to take away the Serene Queen's legacy no matter how many times they try. It has been written.

cp said...

I was watching live streaming during Murray/Lopez changeover when they went to commercial in the third set. You could tell they didn't know or care the mike was still on.Pam Shriver asked Cahill, in the end who will have more GS's Murray or Djokovic and Cahill said Murray for sure, lots more. Shriver said, well Novak has one and Murray hasn't got any. Cahill didn't say anything else.
Then during the Querrey Murray match on ESPN TV when Murray was moping around Shriver said about Murray:Oh he's putting on that dour, hang-dog,woe-is-me act.

Is it possible Pam is not a Murray fan?

Regarding Cahill and coaching. I was pretty sure he would take the job since Murray is part of the anglo-axis but then he did tell Fed last year he didn't have enough money. Cahill said he should steal Higueras from the USTA, Stefanki from Roddick or Rasheed from Monfils. I'm sure Monfils group will lke that.

Savannah said...

TennisAce the bias has been there for years. It's nothing new. I guess people are more aware of it now because she isn't sitting atop the WTA world. I don't know.
It's the same thing with the Monogram. It's the same thing with Clijsters. It's why I hate when ESPN has the coverage. Not that TC was too much better.
I'm glad I didn't hear Carillo's comment. I guess Sharapova is the only one who enters a tournament to win.

That Murray match was weird. I didn't think he'd lose to Querrey. As for Cahill's position it seemed from his comments that he only wants to coach Federer. If anyone remembers Sampras was a piece of work and Annacone ignored all his shit and dealt with him. I think that has more to do with Federer picking Annacone. I don't think he'll try to humiliate him the way he did the Australian who coached him a few years ago.

Wayne said...

Savannah correct me if I'm wrong but I think the doubles record is only with Todd Woodbridge? I was at the Sydney tournment where he won with Borkman and achieved the record so I assumed it was just his and not with Mark.

TennisAce said...

Savannah, for some reason the media is writing narratives for a lot of players. Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Murray, Sharapova, Venus, Serena etc. Some of the narrative has been negative for some, positive for others and vice versa.

As a fan of the sport, rather than a fan of a player (and yes I do have my faves), I think the commentators and writers do a disservice to the sport when they try to belittle the accomplishments of some to raise the profile of a few. Matters not who they do it to ... it is wrong.

As for the whole coaching issue with Murray. How bad can it be when the press in your country have picked someone to be your coach and said coach does not want you. But I will go further. What makes Cahill an uber coach? What are his credentials?

Cahill is part of the Adidas Player Development Program. That means that many players who are sponsored by Adidas take advantage of his I suppose considerable coaching skills. Tell me one player who has benefitted from that coaching.

At this year's major tournaments so far, we have seen Nike take all the majors so far and it is Nike sponsored athletes who seem to be pulling ahead of the pack.

I notice that most of the players who are Adidas sponsored all have one thing going for them: bulk. They go and spend 2 weeks at the farm in Adidas and they come out looking like they have spent the last 2 weeks just packing on the pounds. Is this the way to win tournaments.

I recall when Cahill came down courtside during Hantuchova's match against Venus in Miami this year and the score at the end was Venus 1 -Cahill 0. Tells you all you need to know.

Savannah said...

Wayne you may be right. Todd Woodbridge was there but the commentators said "The Woodies" so often I thought it was the team. So much for trusting the experts.

As for Murray's coaching situation he himself said that Cahill coaches a lot of players and that he didn't trust that situation, something I totally agree with. Looks like the Anglo Axis as cp called it got ahead of itself.

Craig Hickman said...

It's been a while since we've disagreed about an outfit (relatively speaking, of course), but Sharapova's get up isn't working for me at all.

(What's with all the "shame" flying about around here?)

Savannah said...

Craig the outfit softens her angles. No underarm muscle poking out, shoulders don't look so sharp.