Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon 2010 Day 10

by Savannah

Quotes of the Day
I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn't quite allow me to play the way I would like to play.
Q. Some of these big, flat hitters seem to be having an effect on you. Do you need to alter your game to adjust to that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, if I'm healthy I can handle those guys, you know.

Q. Did it affect your level of motivation or anxiety about the match before the match or in the early stages of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it wasn't that bad, like that I was just hoping to get to the finish line. I mean, once I enter the court, I am there to battle and to try to win with what I got. You know, otherwise I'm not going to walk on the court like I did once in my life prior in Bercy against Blake.

But it's nowhere close to being that bad. It's just uncomfortable. Yeah, like I said, you can't play freely. When you can't play freely, that's the kind of performance you get.

Q. A number of shots were sailing out and the crowd would groan and then they would suddenly curl in. What role do you think technology had on today's result, strings in particular?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what you mean. What do you mean, balls were flying out and they came back in?

Q. No. It looked like he was hitting balls that were going to land 10 feet behind the baseline and then they would curl in.

ROGER FEDERER: No, no, he didn't play like that. You saw a different match.

Q. Do you think the return was the most difficult part of your game today? Because sometimes you were returning a little slower and he was hitting a lot of winners.

ROGER FEDERER: That's his game. He took a lot of chances, you know. I tried to slice it; I tried to play aggressive. You know, first you just want to try to make the returns.

But, you know, I mean, I had my chances. I don't think I needed to change much. The way I returned, this match I could have won as well, you know.

But, uhm, I was just not playing well enough. And when he had to, he was able to come up with some good stuff, you know. But I definitely gave away this match, I feel.

Roger Federer Post Match Interview
I was going to post the explosive comments as I'd seen them in several news articles but I went to the Wimbledon Official Site to read them in context. They're not less explosive, it's just that some of the statements were turned around and out of sequence. It's only fair to the player, no matter who he or she is, to quote them in context.
The following is from Tomas Berdych's post match interview.
Q. Roger said he had some physical problems; that his back and leg were bothering him. What did you notice and what is your reaction to him saying that?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if he just looking for some excuses after the match or something like that. I mean, it happened to all of us. You know, I think he's been every time when he played, he was I think hundred percent ready.

So maybe right now he's getting some more troubles with the health. But, you know, I think it just happen today. So I didn't know that. I just heard it first time like you said it right now. So, yeah, just to him hope that he's gonna get back soon and that's it what I can just wish him.


As of Monday July 5, 2010

1 1 Nadal 720 9465
2 3 Djokovic 720 6905
3 2 Federer 360 6885
4 4 Murray 720 5155
5 6 Soderling 360 4935
6 5 Davydenko 45 4740
7 8 Del Potro 0 4350
8 7 Roddick 180 3490
9 9 Verdasco 10 3475
10 10 Tsonga 360 3455

The Other Upset
Despite Venus Williams surprise loss to Tsvetana Pironkova I consoled myself with the thought that she would still win the Women's Doubles crown. That was not to be either. Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina took Venus and her sister Serena Williams to three sets winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. You can see in the picture above that Serena's right shoulder was taped. After the match the cameras followed the sisters and their security escort and it appeared to me that Venus was limping slightly.
I don't want to take anything away from the Russian team's win. They played very well and deserved their victory.

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon 2010 Day 8

by Savannah

Just so we're clear. I hate wireless routers. I'm going to go back to using an ethernet cord. Pain in the ass.

People are talking about there having been two upsets yesterday. In my opinion there was only one.
Tsvetana Pironkova's defeat of world number two Venus Williams was an upset. Everyone has good and bad days. Venus had a bad day yesterday. She never got on track and all Pironkova had to do was let Venus make errors. She didn't run Venus all over, wasn't hitting amazing shots - yes her groundies were strong but in the end all she was doing was keeping the ball in the court and waiting for an error from Venus - she just played solid tennis.
What I don't get was all the blather that Venus would/should retire. Why? One bad match at a Slam and she should get out of Dodge? Come on people. If Venus stopped playing who is ready to step in and take her place? Seriously people. Do they think that Caroline Wozniacki will be the one to take over where Venus left off? Really? Unless they bring in a pod ain't gonna happen. After what Petra Kvitova did to her you'd think the talk would be about what she needs to do to improve her game not Venus retiring. Do we really need a pusher ranked in the top three of women's tennis?
I've always had a soft spot for Vera Zvonareva. I always remember the match where she broke down in tears because on that day she wasn't playing well enough to win. Vera, who is known by tennisheads as Bepa, the Cyrillic spelling of her name, played well enough yesterday. Holding onto her emotions and remaining focused she defeated media darling Kim Clijsters in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
When forced to adjust her style to her opponent's play Clijsters always has problems. Nadia Petrova showed how to take away her timing earlier this year with an awesome display of power tennis. Bepa showed a more subtle way to do the same thing.
Totally unheralded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic defeated Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in three tough sets 4-6, 7-6(8), 8-6.
The women's semi finals will feature Serena Williams against Vera Zvonareva and Tsvetana Pironkova against Petra Kvitova.
I wonder who Serena will play in the Final?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon 2010 Day 7

by Savannah

Match of the Day
Lu Yen-Hsun is a player that tennisheads, and I mean hard core tennisheads, know about. He's been around for awhile now doing well sometimes but not making a big splash. Today he scored the biggest knock out of the 2010 edition of Wimbledon by taking out the Number 5 seed, American Andy Roddick.
I wasn't really watching the match to tell the truth. It was on the HDTV on mute because another men's match was taking place at the same time and given the choice between showing Roddick's match and a match featuring a non American I don't think you need a long time to figure out what ESPN would do.
In the end it was the best decision they could've made. The only thing I wish I'd been able to hear was the commentary.
I thought that Lu, who was the first man from Taiwan to make the Round of 16 at a Major - read Grand Slam - would be out in straight sets. Instead every time I looked up Lu was hanging tough.
No way Lu could possibly win a tiebreak with the big serving Roddick I thought. Looked up and damn it he had. In fact he won two tiebreaks against Andy. When Roddick won the fourth set tiebreak if Wimbledon had not banned them the grounds of the AELTC would have reverberated with the sound of vuvuzelas.
The joy was not to last. Lu did not panic when once again the score stood at six all. There was no "Oh shit" moment on his part. Instead he stuck to what he was doing and won the fifth set 9-7.
I really don't know what to say about Roddick's play. As regular readers know I don't like discussing the men's draw or rankings at all. I've read that he played passively, as if he was waiting for Lu to make a mistake. When that didn't happen he had no Plan B, or couldn't psyche himself up to execute it.
Roddick had not played any clay matches. In fact he hadn't played much at all since the spring hard court swing in the United States. Some will argue he wouldn't have won a clay tournament anyway so why should he have bothered? All I have to say is match play is match play and that a long layoff can have surprising results.
There are no more American men left in SW 19. Both Venus Williams and Serena Williams are still alive on the women's side. There seemed to be some hope that Maria Sharapova would dispatch the world number one but Serena pulled off a straight sets victory after a shaky start.
Wimbledon is the Holy Grail of American tennis. Once again it's American women who have picked up the flag.

I usually get predictions wrong. I said that Tsvetana Pironkova could trouble Marion Bartoli. Tsevetana troubled Marion right out of the tournament. In straight sets.

Is Petra Kvitova's win over Caroline Wozniacki really an upset? If you look at the rankings it is. If you look objectively at how Caroline got that ranking it isn't.

Lindsay Davenport had better watch out. While commentating todays match between Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters she said that Henin's coach had been sending signals to her the entire match. Only certain people get called for coaching. Justine has never, to my knowledge, been even warned about it. That means that it has never happened right? As one fan put it today "Where is Cedric Mourier when you need him?"

Too Much Too Young
The first reports came from gossip site last night. Former tennis prodigy Jennifer Capriati had been rushed to the hospital after an apparent drug overdose. Initial reports said she had been found in a place called Riviera Beach, a location that apparently is not what it sounds like. An official spokesperson said later this afternoon that Jennifer had taken ill in her condo located on Singer Island and was rushed to the hospital from there.
Unless Jennifer chooses to tell us I doubt that we'll ever know what really happened. Some are saying it was a suicide attempt as if that makes what happened better than an overdose. Either way it's a tragedy.
I hope that Jennifer gets the help she needs and that she not only recovers physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

World Cup Fever
By now everyone is aware of the great actors that play football for various countries around the world. My favorite is the guy from Spain who tripped himself, fell the the pitch as if mortally wounded, and got a player from Chile ejected. Maybe by the time the next World Cup comes around the people who hand out Academy Awards will have a special category for Best World Cup Acting job.

Which brings me to Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic.
Jelena down 6-1 and 3-0 retired from her match against Vera Zvonareva. Her fans on Twitter were insulted by those who implied that the injury came because of her being about to lose not that she was trying to win and overexerted herself.
Djokovic was stricken with digestive issues during his match against Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt, never one to mince his words, implied that Djokovic had faked injury, saying that he looked fine to him. Djokovic said he doesn't know why Lleyton felt that way since he hasn't taken an injury time out in a long time.
I remember that crap Djokovic pulled against Gael Monfils at the US Open a few years ago. Dyed in the wool tennisheads haven't either. Apparently Lleyton Hewitt hasn't either.
Nicolas Mahut has been given a Wild Card into Newport next week and no, John Isner is not on the entry list.

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.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon 2010 Day 4

by Savannah

Starting out with a bit of news. Kim Clijsters, when asked about the showing of Belgian players as opposed to their British counterparts said the following:

The only thing I probably notice is that we didn't grow up with the facilities that you guys have. And I think maybe kids are a little bit too spoiled too soon with what you have.

"We get spoiled in a way that we have great coaches and we have a good system but we don't nearly have the equipment and the facilities that you guys have here.

"I don't know if it's necessary at such a young age to spoil kids or to treat them like they're it, you know.

"If you don't have it, it makes you work harder to achieve it. And I think that's where I think sometimes you have to be a little bit careful."

The LTA receives about £30m each year from Wimbledon profits but Clijsters suggests that money cannot always buy success. "The four grand slam countries [Australia, France, England, United States] have a lot of money," she added. "You have the best facilities you can have here in England.

"Most of the girls who make it never had that when they were younger, when they were growing up. So I think the biggest thing that I can think of, is don't give it to them that early.

"I don't think there's one point where you can say 'this is what we're doing right'. You need the whole system, it's the whole group around the player, the parents, the whole infrastructure that's important.

"There's not one difference that Belgium has compared to England. You probably took most of our coaches already so that didn't work."

The Belgian Steve Martens is currently player director at the LTA while Clijsters's former coach Carl Maes was head of British women's tennis at the LTA until resigning in April 2009 for personal reasons.

Needless to say the Brits fired back.

Britain's Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, argues that other countries do more for their players. "Successful nations like Argentina and France have players playing at wonderful facilities and pay for everything for their players, more than we do," said Smith.

"You can give someone a lot but it's about the values you instil in them. Values like hunger, desire, work rate, competing are hammered home every day. I don't go along with the claim we're spoiling them."


From the Wimbledon Referees


John Isner (USA) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68

After the match, on behalf of the All England Club, Ann Jones and Tim Henman made a presentation to the players and chair umpire in recognition of the occasion:

Players: 10” Tipperary Crystal Bowl (to be engraved) and Six Waterford Crystal Wimbledon Champagne Flutes
Umpire: 10” Tipperary Crystal Bowl (to be engraved), a Wimbledon Tie and Wimbledon Silver Cufflinks


· “It has been quite amazing to be involved with such an extraordinary match. I can’t imagine seeing another one like it in my lifetime.”

· “I didn’t get a chance to feel tired, I was gripped by the amazing match and my concentration stayed good – I owed that to the players, their stamina was breath-taking and their behaviour exceptional. The whole team on court; the Line Judges and Ball Boys and Girls all did an excellent job. ”

· “I think the longest match I’ve ever Chair Umpired before was five and a half hours long – that’s a lot less than even the third set of this one!”

· “When you are so focussed and every point feels like a match point you just don’t even think about eating or needing the bathroom.”

· “Yesterday my voice did get a little dry, but I have drunk plenty today and it feels good.”

· “I travel Economy. Seven hours sitting still on court is nothing.”

Can I squee just a little about Mo?Photobucket

It's over. It was great to see tennis make the front pages and back pages of newspapers all over the country. All it took was two guys slugging it out over three days with each one looking as if he were about to keel over at any second. Think it didn't take a toll on the players? Here's a shot of John Isner's feet today.
Think those puppies hurt?
It was obvious that Nicolas Mahut was devastated at losing but to his credit he manned up and showed respect for himself and his profession doing the press and taking the pictures. It was good to see the AELTC acknowledge the history made on Court 18 by gifting everyone involved.
It was one of those tennis days where one match overshadowed everything else that happened except for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip. It was nice to see Andy Murray on his best behavior. I think he threw a mini tantrum but there were no profanity laden diatribes directed to his team and not one racquet flew from his hands.
Her majesty left after Murray's match - she is not a big fan of tennis - but she is a professional too. She knew how to smile and wave to the crowd and even found time to spend a few minutes with Mr. Murray and Jarkko Nieminen.
Those of us who were worried we, and the Queen would be subjected to a women's match that didn't really deserve to be on Centre Court breathed a sigh of relief.

In the end it was a good day. Things will seem rather dull tomorrow won't they? Except that every time a match goes into the fifth set and ends with a score in the teen people will be calling the players "wuss" in their minds.

Going Forward

As we all know opinions are like anal apertures. Everybody has one. I think that when the official season is over the powers that be will have to give serious thought to what should be done when a match goes into a fifth or third set where there is no tiebreaker. How long should it be allowed to continue? 20 all? 50 all? I ask because I don't think anyone seriously thinks that Isner or Mahut (who is still alive in doubles) will be any good for the rest of the tournament. In the end nothing may be done but I hope, for the players sakes, that a solution is at least given serious thought.


Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been elected for another two-year term on the ATP Player Council. The world’s top two players, who were first voted onto the Council by their peers in June 2008, join Chilean Fernando Gonzalez and American Sam Querrey as the Top 1-50 ranked singles representative.

Along with Federer and Nadal, the following individuals comprise the 2010-2012 ATP Player Council:
1-50 singles ranking: Roger Federer, Fernando Gonzalez, Rafael Nadal, Sam Querrey
51-100 singles ranking: Peter Luczak, Jarkko Nieminen
1-100 doubles ranking: Eric Butorac, Nenad Zimonjic
At-large: Yves Allegro, Ashley Fisher
Coach: Claudio Pistolesi
Alumni: Ignacio Hirigoyen

Visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II to Wimbledon 2010

by Savannah


Visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II
Thursday 24th June 2010


· Last visit 1977. Other visits 1957 and 1962. (Please see Compendium P285 for details)
· Members of the Royal Family are welcome to attend on any day(s) of the Championships
· The Queen will sit in the Royal Box on Centre Court
· Other Royal Box Guests - see usual list
· Curtseying/Bowing – Players will be invited but not obliged to bow/curtsey
· Security commensurate with the occasion

Schedule for Day


· Royal party arrive mid morning to be met at Aorangi Terrace by:
o Duke of Kent (President of The All England Lawn Tennis Club)
o Tim Phillips CBE (Chairman of The All England Lawn Tennis Club)
o Philip Brook (Vice Chairman of The All England Lawn Tennis Club)
o Ian Ritchie (Chief Executive of The All England Lawn Tennis Club)
· Presented with a posy of hydrangea, agapanthus, peony and roses by Wimbledon Ballgirl (Marianna Spring aged 14 from Sutton High)


· Pass in front of Aorangi Terrace
· Down St Mary’s Walk between Courts 18 and 19
· Visit Court 14 to observe the Club’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative
· Continue down St Mary’s walk to Members’ Lawn to meet a selection of players
· Proceed to Clubhouse for lunch

Court 14

· Introduced to Dan Bloxham – Head Coach, AELTC
· Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative players:
o Elizabeth Nyenwe (18)
o Evelina Belevich (13)
o Lila Simpson (12)
o Gemma Southwick (10)
o Andrew Watson (10)
o Kung Phimlee (8)
o Freya Hampson-Evans (7)
o Laurence Woodford (7)
o Alfie Fox (10)
o Iman Garshong (10)
o Emmanuel Smith (12)

· Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI)

o Part of The Road to Wimbledon, the Club’s junior tennis programme for ages 3-18.
The Club’s dedicated coaching team, headed by Dan Bloxham, delivers tennis coaching and promotes a fitness lifestyle and sports education programme in the local schools of the London Boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.
Around 100,000 children have had the chance to have a go at the game at one of the 450 schools visited by the Club’s coaching team.
o Around 300 children per day also attend free tennis coaching and skills sessions held at the Club 45 weekends a year.
o WJTI has one international player, Lila Simpson (12), a further two at National level, five regional and over twenty county standard players.

Members Lawn, Millennium Building

· Introduced to a selection of players

o Defending Champions Serena Williams and Roger Federer
o Past Wimbledon Champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King
o Six of the other top seeded singles players: Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick (Roddick replaces Andy Murray because of pre-match preparation)
o British players: Laura Robson, Heather Watson, Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha

Lunch in the Clubhouse

· Welcomed by Committee of management and Senior execs of the Championships
· Presented with a memento of her visit – miniatures of the Men’s and Ladies’ Trophies
· Lunch with current and former players: Former British Champions Angela Barrett (1961), Ann Jones (1969), Virginia Wade (1977); Venus Williams; Roger and Mirka Federer; Tim Henman; John Barrett.
· Menu:
o Amusé: Salmon Millefeuille with Wye Valley Asparagus
o Main course (served chilled): Orange and Honey Marinated Chicken on Fruity Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
o Kentish Strawberries and Blackberries with Cornish Clotted Cream and Mint Syrup
o English Cheese Plate & Orange Chutney
o Coffee and Chocolates
o Wines: Meursault, Joseph Drouhin, 2006 and Barolo, Giovanni Corino, 2004


· Enter the Royal Box to watch tennis on Centre Court
· No national anthem


· Timing as and when the Queen wishes to leave
· From main Clubhouse entrance.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grazing In the Grass - Wimbledon Day 3

by Savannah

Historic. Unprecedented. Never seen before. Throw out the record books. John Isner and Nicholas Mahut will hopefully complete their match tomorrow afternoon London time. But the entire sports world sat up and took notice of tennis for once.
Was it great tennis? No. Was it great theater? Yes. I mean the scoreboard was reset because it's not equipped to go over 47. The online scoreboard reset when the score hit 51-50.
Personally I was horrified that the match was allowed to go on so long. Maybe it will make the AELTC and the FFT to look into instituting a tie break after a certain number of games have been played and there is a tie. I know it's not going to happen but at what point do you say "enough". Both players could possibly be out of the tournament since their muscles have to be saturated with lactic acid.
The tennis world, and the rest of the world waits for the outcome.

A Slap in the Face

I don't see any other way to describe the women's court assignments for tomorrow. It's my understanding that Caroline Wozniacki is a favorite of the top people in the WTA. Maybe that explains it.

It's been amusing reading the apologists for the assignment. Their argument is that Serena Williams was never officially assigned to Centre Court so the uproar is being caused by misinformation. She is the defending champion. She is ranked #1. She has won several Grand Slams. The WTA representative on Centre Court tomorrow has never made it past the quarters at Wimbledon where tradition means so much.

Nothing is going to change the assignments though and we all have to live with the situation. It's too bad that something this ugly has reared it's head, once again, at Wimbledon.

Smile of the Day
Media Takeout is an online gossip site aimed at an African-American audience. Too bad they don't follow tennis or else they'd know the "mystery man" is none other that Serena Williams good friend Andy Roddick. Two long time friends greeting each other is not newsworthy unless you're looking to point out that they are friends. I'm just sayin'.

Wimbledon Breaking News

by Savannah

The Wimbledon Referees have released the Order of Play for Centre Court tomorrow. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be in attendance.

The Championships 2010 Intended Order of Play for Thursday 24 June 2010



1. Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) vs Andy Murray (GBR) [4]
2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) [3] vs Kai-Chen Chang (TPE)
3. Robin Haase (NED) vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2]

Should I go into my conspiracy theory bag and think the WTA wanted Wozniacki on Centre Court as opposed to the defending champion?

More on this later.


You know they always say never assume. I assumed that Serena would be on Court 1. I was wrong. Here are the Court assignments for Courts 1 & 2. I can't talk about this now.


1. Ioana Raluca Olaru (ROU) vs Maria Sharapova (RUS) [16]
2. Robin Soderling (SWE) [6] vs Marcel Granollers (ESP)
3. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) [13] vs Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)


1. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [10]
2. Florent Serra (FRA) vs David Ferrer (ESP) [9]
3. Serena Williams (USA) [1] vs Anna Chakvetadze (RUS)
4. Na Li (CHN) [9] vs Kurumi Nara (JPN)

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon Day 2

by Savannah
There were two major upsets yesterday. On the men's side Fabio Fognini, took out the number eight seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6(9), 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-4.
Verdasco has played a very heavy schedule so far this year. It's very rare to see someone on the men's side use the Jelena Jankovic method of playing every tournament you can stand up and walk into but that seems to be what Fernando was trying to do. I hope Fernando takes the time to rest.
The other upset was perpetrated by Kaia Kanepi who beat women's sixth seed Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4. Everyone always giggles when one of the women, after winning a big tournament, pronounces herself the target of all the other women. Stosur, to my knowledge, has never said anything like this but it seems to me the pressure of expectations is getting to her. Maybe her game is more suited to the dirt than to grass. Like Verdasco a break at this time could be good for her.

Match News

There were three matches called due to darkness that will be played to completion today. American Vania King was giving veteran Daniela Hantuchova all she could handle yesterday. The women split sets with Hantuchova winning the first set 7-6(4) and King winning the second by the identical score.
In the second match Thiemo de Bakker heads into a fifth set with Santiago Giraldo after the two men each won two sets 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 5-7.
In the third darkness delayed match Nicholas Mahut and John Isner will play a fifth set after each man won two sets. The line score is 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7), 6-7(3).
There was no drama when the matches were called. The officials came out and said that there was no way a fifth set could be completed for the men or a third set for the ladies and stopped play. None of the players argued.

Xavier Malisse, gutted out a five set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1. And yes the pun is intended.

For some reason a lot of otherwise reasonably sane people thought that Robert Kendrick of the United States was going to upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga . Tsonga, who had to retire from his last match in Paris due to hip and back injuries seemed to literally be feeling no pain as he dispatched Kendrick 7-6(2), 7-6(6), 3-6 and 6-4.
Venus Williams and Serena Williams continued their quest to dominate doubles at the majors by winning their match 6-4 and 6-2 over the team of Julie Ditty and Renata Voracova minutes before play was called due to darkness.

The Fashion Parade
2 Views of Maria/blog
Nike presented, for our viewing pleasure, two views of top players in bolero jackets. Maria Sharapova, seen above wore hers over a dress that was very similar to a style she's worn before. I remember not liking it in its first incarnation but I like this version.
It makes her body look less angular and doesn't get into the way on court.
The other bolero jacket was worn by Serena Williams. It's nice to see the designers put time and effort into making sure the jacket and dress both fit Serena well.
Nice work.
Dear Stella, The dress is fug no matter what color it is. Regards, Savannah
Dear Aravane, Tennis is a hot, sweaty sport. Most outfits are designed to give the illusion that the player is cool, calm and collected out there despite sweating like a pig. There is a reason no one wears satin-like fabrics on court. If your intention is to raise your opponents body temperature ten degrees by just looking at you you're succeeding. If that is not your intention, the dress is simply fug. Of course the black and gold was worse but now we're at Wimbledon. Please consider the fans who are often sitting in the hot sun and don't need their temperatures raised anymore. Savannah

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wimbledon Day 1 - Grazing in the Grass

by Savannah

Quote of the Day:

Q. Do you think it might have helped you to play him three times in a row?

ROGER FEDERER: It shouldn't have, no, especially after Halle. He should have known that I was going to beat him. But he forgot I beat him (smiling).
Post Match Presser 6/21/2010

Blades of Grass
German/Jamaican Dustin Brown is considering an offer of British citizenship based on one of his grandparents having been British. He would become the British Number 2. He is presently playing as a German citizen. He's ranked thirteenth in that country.
Front and back views of Venus Williams Wimbledon dress. Venus says it was inspired by Tina Turner. The girls in the booth said it reminded them of the style of dress worn in the 1920's by women who were called flappers. Whatever inspired it it is a beautiful outfit. It screams class and elegance. Good work Venus.
Honorable mention goes to Jelena Jankovic. She's been wearing nice dresses lately. Keep it up.
Just remember we do know who you are Jelena.
Worst Dressed
Maybe Ana Ivanovic has been watching too much of the World Cup and seeing the grass thought she was in South Africa. The lack of vuvuzela's serenading her should have tipped her off. Anyway this is the worse I've seen so far. Aravane Rezai is still to come.
Special Mention
Couldn't leave him out could I?
Editorial Comment of the Day
Ain't love grand?
End Notes
Novak Djokovic and Olivier Rochus are about to start the fifth set of their first round match as I type this. Play was halted due to nightfall and the AELTC thought it best to close the roof. I'll report on this tomorrow.