Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This and That In The Off Season Part 1

by Savannah

Some interesting news via Colette Lewis


On Monday morning, Lagardere Unlimited announced it had signed ITF World Junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend to a representation contract. Townsend and her family had been talking with the company, which represents current and former World No. 1s Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki as well as young Americans Sloane Stephens and Melanie Oudin, since the US Open in September.

"I thought it was all about timing, and was really ready and really excited," said the 16-year-old from Georgia. "Lagardere has been showing interest for a while and my mom was talking with them for a while and we got a chance to meet in New York. It was over time, it wasn't just an instant decision. There was a lot of thought put into it, and I was really excited and I thought now was the right time."

Townsend, who made her decision right before Thanksgiving, was back on the court Monday in the first round of the Orange Bowl, after falling in the third round of the Eddie Herr last week.

With all the controversy surrounding Taylor last year and the not so subtle dis by the USTA I can understand Taylor and her family wanting to get away.

That said I don't think Taylor is ready for the main tour. Yes the USTA was ham handed in it's treatment of the sixteen year old but that doesn't mean she doesn't have fitness issues. From what I saw of her game over the summer she is still playing a junior game. It would've been very good for her if she'd gotten a WC into the US Open Main Draw so that we could better assess her game.

But she didn't and she's still decided to go pro. I wish her well. I do hope that those early round beat downs from the top women don't discourage her. I expect her to be pro level in 2-3 years.

Twitter Melt Downs Tennis Style

This year tennis players, like many other athletes, took to Twitter. We've had ATP players dissing WTA players for pimping off of the work the ATP. We've had the online version of flirting between players who are officially a couple and those who aren't.

And last night we had a major meltdown from a tennis veteran. Most of the time the veterans tweet to let fans know what they're up to: new books, exhibitions, promotional appearances, that sort of thing.


The whole thing started when veteran tennis journalist/blogger Jon Wertheim tweeted a link to an article on tennis.com regarding an "exclusive" interview Jennifer Capriati gave to a sports gossip columnist in Florida about the restraining order an ex boy friend got against her. Capriati's responses to Wertheim doing his job was Lohanesque in it's outrage and "denial".
This is the article that sent Ms Capriati off the deep end. I found the Twitter exchange and here's a sample of the exchange.

Jon Wertheim ‏@jon_wertheim
Sad Jennifer Capriati item: http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/11/c.../#.ULOb7o7Uhj0 …

2h Jennifer Capriati ‏@JenCapriati
@jon_wertheim u know what's sad is being a victim of serious emotional abuse and people not caring about the truth and believing what a disgusting gossip reporter writes and the media humiliating me and not having compassion. I'm not sad I'm a good human being that's a good daughter a good sister and good hearted person that doesn't deserve to be humiliated and slaughtered by those who can sit around and judge and not come close to any achievements I've made in my life. I will not take this anymore

I think this is the last part which had by then become a soliloquy:

They say dont do things that would draw negative press. Well aren't we all just human? Don't we all feel and do things that aren't perfect?

There were a couple of fans who got involved but most long time fans/bloggers/writers steered clear of it.

Let's all hope Jennifer was just having a bad night.

As The Tennis Ball Bounces

So Rory McIlroy's ex is pissed at Caroline Wozniacki presumably for stealing her meal ticket, uh, man. Seems she had a party of some kind of gathering called "Tennis Pro's and Ho's" and Ms Wozniacki got her panties in a bunch. Honey take if from a mature woman. When you get pissed at the ex it means your relationship is not as solid as you want everyone to believe. Take the high road. Go practice and see her face on every ball you hit.
That's the mature way. Or brawl in the gutter. Whichever suits you.

ATP Player of the Year


It's no easy thing to get a monkey off your back. In professional sports it's even harder. Once you're tagged with a rep, be it good or bad, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Great Britain says it's been waiting for years for a British man to win a Grand Slam. The Olympics was always a pipe dream. This year Andy Murray won the US Open against the ATP's top ranked player, and won the Olympics. Is it because of his new coach, Czech champion Ivan Lendl? Maybe. Lendl seems to be just as big a motherfucker as Murray does. And Murray is listening to him.

As for British tennis fans they should all be ashamed at how they behaved during the ATP WTF. Here is your guy, the man who has worked hard to do what was expected of him, and you're cheering for the fading star with all your heart and soul.

It is what it is. I think Andy Murray deserves Player of the Year.


TennisAce said...

The English will never embrace Murray, no matter what he does. All he has done he has not done for Mother England. He has done it for Scotland. Lest we forget, the cheers for him during the Olympics were partisan. The cheers for Fed were tennis fans cheers. 2 different sets of fans. It is a bit like the US. No matter how the civil war ended, the South is still fighting that war. In England the Scots are still trying to put Mary on the Throne.

The Capriati situation is sad. I agree that Taylor should stay in the juniors and get fit, i.e. lose some weight

Savannah said...

The Murray thing is a bitch.

I agree with you that he's not considered a "real Brit" but he is all they have. He came up through their system. His girlfriend's father is part of that system. But like the top French players are doing he realized he had to go outside of that system in order to perform well at the top level. If the Brits resent Murray they need to actually institute the reforms they claimed they were going to a few years back. Otherwise they got nothing.

As for Taylor there is nothing she can do but lose the baby fat. The picture I used was taken a few days ago at most. Serena is a brick house but Serena is very, very fit. Taylor isn't. She's got youthful enthusiasm on her side now but in the trenches, in one of those three hour three set WTA matches will she be able to grind it out? Right now I don't think so.

Going pro isn't the best decision for her right now.

Savannah said...

A Capriati fan I know is afraid there is really something wrong in Capriati Land right now.

TennisAce said...

That is incredibly sad for JCap. Do you recall after she was inducted her statements on twitter? She sounded bitter and entitled. Unlike Lindsay, I don't think JCap was ever satisfied with her career or the way in which it ended. In addition, she does not seem to have been embraced by the tennis crowd in terms of getting coaching or announcing jobs. Perhaps a look in the mirror would help.

It does not help Murray's cause when he cheers against the English football team. Football is as sacred to Englishmen as cricket.

Taking issue: Fed is not really a fading star. he got back to #1 & won a Grand Slam this year. He will not win everything in sight but right now the game and fans need him to stick around

Savannah said...

Your comparison of the English/Scottish thing to what goes on in this country between the north and the south has made me look at Murray in a new way. He is in a no win situation isn't he?

Not a Fed fan. I was when it was just him and Mirka against the world but not since IMG got it's claws in him. Maybe his break from them will be a good thing?

I'm betting that Fed will be named Player of the Year.

As for JCap I remember there were always issues with her father. I remember her being kind of incoherent after her induction into the HoF.
I've never followed her that closely but I wouldn't blame her for being bitter. I don't think she was ever fit enough and she's had time to reflect.

It is a sad situation.

kraa said...

I don't feel the comparison between North/South and England/Scotland is quite proper. Would take a long time to explain, though.

I'd be willing to bet a farm that Djokovic will be named ATP player of the year. Both Murray and Fed had good years, but Nole had significantly better slam results and won WTF.

Capriatti is unable to speak coherently, how can you give her a speaking job? Not the sharpest pencil in the drawer to say it politely... Sad situation though - hope she gets her life in order.

Savannah said...

Re Capriati I don't know much about her or her family's situation but it's always difficult when a child becomes a major source of the family income. Of course I could be wrong about her family situation so don't all jump on me about it.

I think the game passed her by and she's never reconciled herself to that. Woulda coulda shoulda is the hardest thing on a person.

As for your prediction about Djokovic we'll see kraa. They'll always figure out a way to give it to Federer.

Karen said...

I have searched all over the internet and I cannot seem to find any instance where a player on the ATP has been named Player of the Year. Can someone direct me to instances where a male player was named Player of the Year. I am dead serious about this question

vw said...

when are they going to pick POTY?

Savannah said...

You know I'm curious about that as well. There's been a discussion on Twitter about it and I expected the ATP to announce a POTY after the Challenger Championship final was over but there's been nothing.

Thanks to both of you for yanking my chain on this. I will look into it.

Savannah said...

Thanks to Wiki...


And this


The ATP list is just of year ending #1's. The ITF list hasn't been updated for 2012 yet.

kraa said...

I think it's usual for ITF awards to be announced rather late (ATP #1 is always #1 by rankings). Every year Federer won the award he also won at least 2 GS's so I see no evidence at all of him being somehow given more than he deserved. In fact one could argue that he was more deserving of 2003 prize than Roddick, but not this year.

Savannah said...

2003 is the year many feel the US Open made sure Andy Roddick won the US Open.

I don't think Roddick's career, or American tennis, ever recovered.

Karen said...

Thanks guys. For some reason the folks over at SI.com seem to be making some form of push to crown Murray POTY when no such award was ever afforded any other player who has done exceptionally well during a season. I wonder how that happened (sarcastic question).

Savannah said...

The Tennis Axis and it's minions never sleep Karen!