Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simply The Best

by Savannah

She Dances in joy photo 136827bc-d8c8-4389-8eec-c674ad5bfc24_zpsd64838dd.jpg
AFP/Ozan Kose

The comment is almost apocryphal now. Asked by some reporter covering the tennis beat which of his daughters was the best without hesitation he said Serena, who was barely on anyone's radar at the time. The reaction was "what does this crazy black man know?" That reaction resulted in a lot of time and money being spent to create an answer to Venus Williams. Meanwhile Serena, cat suit and all, did her thing almost in the shadows. She won, but unlike her sister she seemed freer to express her inner self.

Fast forward to October 27, 2013 and the WTA YEC in tennis crazy Istanbul, Turkey. Having played a full schedule this year Serena Williams came into Istanbul the favorite to win the crown and the title of Best of 2013.

Barely challenged in her first three Round Robin matches there was a lot of surprise when Jelena Jankovic, the Clown Princess of the WTA, pushed Serena around the court. Was the Great One hurt? Tired? Disinterested since she would end the year at #1 no matter what?

After recouping and winning the match Serena said that she was tired, that she had simply run into the proverbial wall. But she still had one match to win before she could find a beach somewhere and chill out for a few weeks. That match was against Li Na who, like Serena, came into the final undefeated. Li had not won a set off of Serena since practically the Year 1 but that was all to change. The Li Na who played the first set looked nothing like the Li Na fans knew. She was nearly perfect at the net. Whatever offense Serena tried to generate she negated. Serena was so flustered she was hitting the ball to where Li was standing instead of to the open court. That's stuff she does in her sleep. Li started the second set much like she had the first although Serena showed signs of waking up. She had no legs. She was playing on instinct as Alicia Molik, half of the commentary team along with Kevin Skinner, said. And it looked as if she were on her way to a loss.

I'm going to go slightly off topic for a minute. A win by Li would've been great for WTA CEO Stacy Allaster who has overseen a transfer of WTA tournaments from Europe and the United States to Asia. During the semi final a young woman from Singapore did the coin toss. And in the group picture taken after the event Stacy positioned herself between Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, the doubles champions.

All The Finalists YEC 2013 photo 0c3e8ec2-ab9a-40eb-b738-0d5424bf27cf_zps25f4c503.jpg

I think this is an amazing picture. No serious tennis fan expects the atmosphere provided by Istanbul at next years Year End Championship Yet Stacy is implying that China will provide next years champion. That's a tall order for a country that is obsessed with table tennis. I for one will miss Istanbul. The fans there provided the only full and enthusiastic houses for women's tennis for the last three years.

But back to today's match. First Serena braided her hair. She was wearing A LOT of hair for this tournament and some wags speculated that the weight of it was weighing her down. She began to wake up towards the end of the first set after she braided her hair though but that wasn't what turned the match.

The man with the Golden voice, Kader Nouni, rather loudly told Li to tell her coach to "stop it". She knew what he meant. It was said with the mic open so Carlos Rodriguez knew what it meant. For the next five to ten minutes Molik and Skinner praised Rodriguez to the hilt while on court Li Na, no longer having her coach choreograph her every move and shot, began to play like she always does against Serena.

It remains to be seen how many bloggers and commentators pick that as the turning point. It took years of fans calling Rodriguez and his former pupil out for the obvious coaching and her inability to think on court without his "guidance". Sunday the dependance on him Rodriguez fosters in his charges and what happens when he can't do his thing was painfully obvious. Li wasn't the player she'd been for a set and a half. Serena lifted her game but it wasn't a "dramatic" come back. It was Serena showing that even running on fumes she's the best woman on the court everything else being equal.

In my opinion Serena had to win today. It was the win she needed to stop anyone from saying she had not had the best year in recent memory reducing all of the rivals to sad wannabes. Give Victoria Azarenka credit. She showed up in Istanbul. A mysterious, recurring shoulder injury kept someone else away from any competition after Wimbledon.

But that is the stuff to talk about until players report for Hopman Cup at the end of December. Right now the moment belongs to Serena Jameka Williams and her team. They helped her keep body and mind together and they, along with their boss, can hold that trophy up high. And at the end Serena gave a shout out to the man who put her on the road to her triumph this year, her father, Richard Williams.

Congratulations Serena!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

There Can Only Be One, and other Tales from Istanbul

by Savannah

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via WTA

We're down to the last two players in Istanbul. Serena Williams will play...Li Na? But, but wasn't Victoria Azarenka supposed to be across the net from Terror Fabulous (still my favorite nick name for her) on Sunday? Oh yeah, she showed up looking and playing as if she hadn't touched a racquet since we last saw her. Sure she had time to appear in Stefan Gordy's latest video but that put no stress on her back...not the kind you get from playing tennis anyway but could it be she was more severely injured in the fall at Wimbledon than has been let on? I mean Maria Sharapova is still injured from her falls right? Oh it's her shoulder? Nevermind.

And after all the shit they went through to get Angelique Kerber into the final eight at Istanbul she didn't show much did she? I mean she did beat a totally disinterested Agniezska Radwanska in what was the most bizarre match of the tournament for me. Kerber's finger wag was just annoying.

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AFP/Getty Images

Sara Errani, who will be on my list of worst ever top ten player for a long time won a match from someone else who had no interest in beating her, Jelena Jankovic, avoided ignominy in a way I guess. I mean if your opponent shows absolutely no interest in winning her match you have to win right?

It was obvious that JJ wanted to conserve both mental and physical energy for her match against the World Number One and she put up the best fight of anyone this week.

Serena looked to be in pain although she says she hit the wall and there was no visible taping it was Serena in tears on court à la Sabine Lisicki against Marion Bartoli. The difference is that Serena found a way to win despite being out of sorts for whatever reason.

In my opinion Jelena Jankovic should be the come back player of the year. She was going nowhere fast until her brother showed up as her coach. She's gone from counter puncher to aggressively trying to win points. She's cut out the clowning somewhat - I mean she did do a bit of her schtick during her match against Errani but then Errani...oh never mind. Anyway there was none of that versus Serena today.
It seems that JJ is back from her disastrous association with Ricardo Sanchez and looks to be in great shape mentally and physically. She's going to make a lot of people very nervous down under in January. And while I snarked about Alicia Molik and Kevin Skinner singing Marko's praises I agreed with them. You know they're going to try and put some teenager from Britain in there but if you've watched her play the end of this year JJ is number eight with a bullet.

I haven't said much about Petra Kvitova have I? There really isn't that much to say about her. Her physical condition is not the best. I mean the gut isn't hanging as far over the top of her skirt as it was earlier this year but it's still there and they did show her using her inhaler during a break at one point. Still I think her biggest problem is between her ears. She needs a steady diet of players who aren't used to winning in order to be ready for the big matches. When she's playing women who are used to winning and want to win she has trouble playing well back to back. The comms said her physical condition is what her camp says they'll be working on during the off season. Let's hope they don't have her playing a shit ton of exhibitions in the Czech Republic like they did last year.

There will be one more match on the main tour before the farce that is Bulgaria begins. Shouldn't they play that before the YEC? I'm just being that person again? Shrug. Deal with it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WTA YEC Round Robin Groups

by Savannah

The Great 8 2013 photo cba30c69-5f6a-4976-9452-841d450430bf_zps29532c40.jpg

Red Group

Serena Williams
Agnieszka Radwanska
Petra Kvitova
Angelique Kerber

White Group

Victoria Azarenka
Na Li
Sara Errani
Jelena Jankovic

There it is. The Red Group is the stronger of the two in my opinion. The weakest link in that group is Angelique Kerber, who has the worst head to head of almost everyone in the tournament except for Sara Errani. Think I'm wrong? A fan was good enough to put together a chart or two comparing stats. The first chart compares all time H2H's.

all time h2h stats photo alltimeh2h_zpscd85d6ed.jpg

Still not convinced? Lets look at the 2013 H2H between the same players.

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Thanks go to the fan on Tennis Forum who put these together. I'm not this good with computers.

Looking at these charts I have to wonder what the rush was to get Kerber in.

Still a tournament like this exists in its own reality. Anyone could get hot. Someone can falter. Should they just play the final now? Some think so but as the saying goes one never knows do one?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Judgement, Responsibility and Decisions

by Savannah

Sports associations of all kinds usually wait until the end of a yearly cycle, their season, to make changes. It's always been presented as a meeting where a group of people steeped in all the lore of their sport sit down and after a review of the season, good and bad, decide to make changes, or not to make changes, to assist in the promotion of their particular sport.

Angelique Kerber photo ea7f7c8a-439f-43bb-91c4-996546919216_zpseac52d4a.jpg

That is why what happened in Linz, Austria is so perplexing. Over at I found the clearest explanation of what happened.

First top seed, Petra Kvitova pulled out on Saturday with a lower back injury. Under WTA rules, once the qualifying had started, only a Lucky Loser could replace a non wild card such as Kvitova.

Kerber, who is just a handful of points behind Jelena Jankovic in the Race to the WTA Championships, wanted in after she lost in the quarters of Beijing. Apparently, she had applied for a wild card a week before Linz was about to start, which is within the rules.

But the only way that the tournament could get Kerber into the main draw on Sunday just before Monday’s order of play was to released, was to have one of its other wild cards withdraw, which very rarely occurs.

Apparently, Tournament Director Sandra Reichel approached No. 337 ranked Lisa -Maria Moser of Austria, and asked her to withdraw. Moser then did so for “personal reasons.” Had she withdrawn for medial reason, the tournament would not have been allowed to replace her with anyone but a Lucky Loser.

Moser was given a wild card into doubles in which the tournament described in an official statement as “a small compensation.” That statement indicates that tournament took an end-around when it came to tour rules

“Angie is totally happy, Reichel said. “And for me, this is of course also great of still being able to invite a top 10 player at such short notice. ”


However, Ana Ivanovic, who was the second seed at the bottom half of the draw but was moved into the top section as the No. 3 seed, wasn’t thrilled. She is now in second seed Sloane Stephens half of the draw.

Kerber is the top seed, but is in the bottom half.

“One of those things when you realize you’re powerless… No matter what they say! #linzdraw” Ivanovic tweeted.

As a top 10 player, Kerber normally would not be allowed to play her third WTA International Series event, which Linz is, but she is being allowed to do so because when she played the Washington DC International Series tournament this summer she did so because the Premier Level event in Carlsbad, California, was oversubscribed.

All together now: WHAT. THE. FUCK?!

Here's the original draw:

[1] STEPHENS, Sloane USA vs RYBARIKOVA, Magdalena SVK
WC MOSER, Lisa-Maria AUT vs VOEGELE, Stefanie SUI
KNAPP, Karin ITA vs [7] HANTUCHOVA, Daniela SVK

[4] FLIPKENS, Kirsten BEL vs WICKMAYER, Yanina BEL
PLISKOVA, Karolina CZE vs SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA
BEGU, Irina-Camelia ROU vs QUALIFIER
BECK, Annika GER vs [6] CIBULKOVA, Dominika SVK


CADANTU, Alexandra ROU vs WC KLAFFNER, Melanie AUT

Here is the new draw:

[2] STEPHENS, Sloane USA vs RYBARIKOVA, Magdalena SVK
KNAPP, Karin ITA vs [8] HANTUCHOVA, Daniela SVK

PLISKOVA, Karolina CZE vs SCHIAVONE, Francesca ITA
BEGU, Irina-Camelia ROU vs QUALIFIER
BECK, Annika GER vs [7] CIBULKOVA, Dominika SVK

[5] FLIPKENS, Kirsten BEL vs VEKIC, Donna CRO

CADANTU, Alexandra ROU vs WC KLAFFNER, Melanie AUT
NICULESCU, Monica ROU vs [1] WC KERBER, Angelique GER

Now let's look at the current standings for the WTA YEC in Istanbul, the last year it will be played in that city.

Serena Williams (USA) 12040
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7676
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 5890
Li Na (CHN) 5120
Petra Kvitova (CZE) 4370
Sara Errani (ITA) 4190
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 3860
Angelique Kerber (GER) 3505
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)3300
Sloane Stephens (USA) 3185
Roberta Vinci (ITA) 3170

Jelena Jankovic is officially into the YEC since Maria Sharapova's withdrawal was made official on Monday.

Once again, WHAT. THE. FUCK???!!!

As it stands now if Kerber wins she's into the YEC because she's played one more International tournament than everyone else. She wasn't scheduled to play this week and Caroline Wozniacki, 205 points behind Kerber, isn't scheduled to play until next week in Luxembourg. If I'm Wozniacki I've got Stacey Allaster on blast. As you all know I've dragged Sunshine a lot in this space but this is some totally shady shit and Allaster has so far been silent.

My question is simple. Since the precedent has now been set that you can change a draw AFTER it's been made AND throw out a player who had previously been part of that draw and demote a seed to unseeded what stops a player, any player, from demanding that same right? The part about it being okay since she played her second International because Carlsbad was oversubscribed is bullshit. WTA players have already spoken out about it.

I say shame on you WTA. Someone at the top should've said no to this scheme. And what happens if after all this Kerber loses early? But why should we care? The TD is happy that "Angie" is happy. I'd be too if I'd bogarted my way into an event, got the top seeding, got placed in the BOTTOM half of the draw AND got a cakewalk draw while my biggest opponents slug it out in the top half.

And the WTA had been doing so well...

With Ranking Comes Responsibility

Tennis is an individual sport. The man or woman who is ranked at the top of the heap basks in media spotlight and gets perks only hinted at in the "tennis press". But with that rank comes responsibility. You are the face of your sport world wide. It's not like being a star baseball player like Yasiel Puig and it's a little less than being Lionel Messi in football. But tennis outside of the United States is a major sport and the kids trying to claw their way to the top look to the top ranked players for guidance in how to conduct themselves.
That is what a number one ranked player in tennis is supposed to do.

So you can imagine my surprise when the following quotes came out of Beijing, China. Emphasis mine. Via ASAPSports

Q. Two days ago we received a statement from Viktor Troicki, from his agent, I don't know, saying you have been the first one to sign a petition about a new rules for the doping process. Can you say if it's right and can you tell us more details about the protocols about that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the whole case around Viktor is just very unfair towards him. I believe that he's innocent. He hasn't been charged for being positive on any kind of substance. He was just accused of failing to provide the blood test that day.

You know, I know him since I was eight years old. We grew up together. He's one of my best friends. There is no doubt in my mind that he's innocent. I supported him from the first moment.

I think that knowing that now it's coming up, the date, 9th of October he has an appeal in Lausanne. I hope that he's going to be discharged and he's going to be able to play, because he's definitely not guilty.

What happened in that room on this day, for me, it's very clear that he is supposed to play. That's it. I leave the authorities to deal with that, but I'm confident that he's going to come back on the tour, hopefully already in the next couple weeks, and he's going to be with us in Davis Cup final, because we wish him that.

I don't see why they're keeping him suspended. For what? For failing to provide the blood test? He asked the lady that day, you know, he's not feeling well. Can I provide you tomorrow? She said, Yes, if you write report.

He wrote the report, and the next thing you know she's failing to say the truth in the court in London. She was saying that he was convincing him, that it took her 20 minutes to walk from anti‑doping office to the ATP office in Monte‑Carlo tournament, which is 20 meters. So she was lying a lot.

That's very bad for our sport. That's very bad for anti‑doping agency, you know, to have people who are responsible for this work to fail to say what really happened that day.
There was another person present in the room that day that wrote a perfect English on the report, and then in the court in London he didn't understand a single word.

So the reason why I was the first one to write a petition for the rule change is to try to spread the awareness to the people around that obviously there is‑‑ it all comes down to who said what and who believes in who, you know what I mean?

It's just not fair towards the players, because there has to be I guess technology or a camera or an additional person in the room while you're doing the test, because then ‑‑ the player has no really rights. Maybe he's trying get as much proof that he can, but in the end it's his word against the word of the people who are authorized.

Let's talk about what Viktor Troicki is said to have done. He REFUSED to provide a blood sample when asked. He decided that he wanted to give the sample the next day. So lets imagine a sports world where a player is asked to provide a sample and refuses but names the day he feels he will be able to provide said sample. Would we have random drug tests anymore? In this day and age when even I know there are ways to flush illicit substances out of your system the entire concept of drug testing would become a joke. I mean Lance Armstrong would still be a seven time Tour de France champion if he could've told the folks who do drug testing when they could take a sample.

That is what makes the comments disturbing. Doesn't he have PR people? How could he, a man who is admired by many around the world, make a statement like that without considering the ramifications? Even some members of the press wanted to know why there were no follow up questions and vowed to ask some in Shanghai. I hope they do. I understand supporting a friend in private. I don't understand how a top player can imply that it's the player, not the anti doping agency, who decides when, where and how he or she should be tested.

End Notes

I don't think anyone involved in the Linz draw or who does publicity for Djokovic should get off easy. The Linz controversy is not going to go away and I think Ms Allaster has to say something. Maybe that line of horse manure about overbooking came from her minions. I don't know. Then again FluffyGate has never been adequately addressed. Both the player and the chair umpire have continued as if nothing happened. If officials break the rules why should the players obey them?

I'm waiting for those promised follow up questions in Shanghai. If and when they come they'll probably be tweeted before the official transcript comes out. At least I hope so. For a top player to come out and advocate for the right of the player to refuse a sample on request is controversial to say the least.

Lets see if after the YEC and WTF something is done by the tours.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Time to Catch Up

by Savannah

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I have been watching tennis. Well kind of. It's hard to switch time zones from one coast of the United States to another, a three hour difference. Changing fourteen hours is another thing altogether.

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Zhang Shuai via WTATennis

There have been firsts during my little hiatus. There have been signs that some do have the ability to live up to what their Federations expect of them.

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Ernests Gulbis via StPetersburg Open

Some even managed to drop their perceived don't give a damn attitude and hoist a trophy.

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Gilles Simon via French Tennis Magazine

Some went into witsec to avoid aliens enraged that once again one of their children has been snatched.

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Aga Radwanska via PAP/EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

Common sense finally won out for one woman who decided that brunettes have more fun and that ombre hair works much better for her than a total blonde dye job. And she managed to lift a trophy.

 photo bcdb35ca-b8c2-4742-8cf0-3753f61cee2f_zps2f0662d2.jpg
Joao Sousa via AP/Vincent Thian

Do National firsts trump personal firsts? When they mesh its a beautiful thing no?

Kvitova via AP photo c9c8d82b-f39a-4d38-8ec3-66305bc1178c_zps5d888116.jpg
Petra Kvitova via AP

If all of tennis believes your personal life will cause your professional life to go on the skids the best way to shut people up is to win a title right? So what if you're still out of shape and your bustline will end up somewhere around your knees before you're thirty if you don't start using a decent sports bra? Oh, and you could stand to lose a few pounds so your gut doesn't hang over the top of your skirt? What was that? He likes it? Well then. Who are we to say? Maybe frump is the new in look but I didn't see it in the September Vogue. Then again Ms Wintour wouldn't let you anywhere near her magazine would she?


At any rate there was a lot of news taking place off court. I guess this is the time of year when Federations, what passes for the tennis press, players and anyone remotely associated with tennis decides to let mere mortals, aka regular fans, know some of what's going on behind the scenes.

An example of this was the announcement that Canadian Michael Downey will be the new chief executive of the British Lawn Tennis Association. Well he does speak English right? I won't go into how different British English is from all other forms of English but I digress.

A few days after Downey was publicly announced an interesting news article was published that said, well read this for yourself.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is set to announce a two-year funding freeze for grassroots projects just as clubs are bursting at the seams and desperate to capitalise on Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph.

As LTA chief executive Roger Draper steps down from his £640,000-a-year post tomorrow at the end of a controversial five-year reign at the top of the game's governing body, documents circulated earlier this month warn that the highly contentious move is on its way.

Instead of awarding capital grants to clubs around the country, the LTA will announce that any club wanting to expand or improve its infrastructure will receive only an interest-free loan. Coaches and club chairmen said the move was incomprehensible at a time when interest in tennis was unprecedented.

Sources told The Independent on Sunday that the LTA is prioritising the elite game over grassroots tennis.

The source said: "There is only a certain amount of money at the LTA and something has to give, but it will be a shame if grassroots projects are being hit at a time when we all want to capitalise on the interest around the UK after Andy's fantastic year."

Emphasis mine. That emphasis on the elite game has worked soooo well for them hasn't it? Long time readers will remember the hype when Draper took over. He was going to stop the paying of large stipends and other kinds of support to players who have performed poorly at best on the world stage. I get the feeling nothing has changed.

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Obviously feeling no pain Andy Murray, who is British Tennis, Tweeted this picture from his hospital bed after undergoing back surgery to relieve what's been described as a long term back injury. Keep in mind Murray had just played Davis Cup for England. I was going to say his country but he's a Scot by birth and seemingly by inclination. Is there any British man who can step into Murray's shoes in the near future? There's been some hype around Daniel Evans but we'll have to wait and see if he can handle the pressure.

Then there's the WTA. It deserves it's own series here but it gets tiresome writing the same thing over and over for me.

Anyway WTA CEO Stacey Allaster when asked whether women should play three-out-of-five sets at the Grand Slams, Allaster said her players were, “Ready, willing, and able—all you have to do is ask us.”

Really Stacey? Many of your players are dead on their feet if they have to go three sets. Five sets and you'll need paramedics courtside. Why fan the flames at this time especially when even your top players play in mostly empty stadiums (except in Istanbul)? You think people will pay to see who collapses in a heap first in the fourth set?

Meanwhile newly named Spanish Davis Cup Captain Carlos Moyá went after Ivan Lendl and his pupil, the above mentioned Andy Murray. Why? Maybe he was bored?

For me, Murray is neither Novak nor Rafa," Moya writes. "He can become one [of those types of players], but right now he is not. In terms of consistency, he is far away. Rafa has made 12 finals in 13 tournaments and has won 10. Djokovic has lost very few matches. Murray—not just this year—is a player who has trouble mentally enduring throughout the year.”

Moya also criticized Murray's coach, Ivan Lendl. Moya believes Lendl is having Murray focus too much on the majors and not enough on the other tournaments.

The original article is in Spanish . A translation is HERE

If we're going to have throw downs between the previous generation maybe Stacey Allaster can rent out her paramedic team. That'll help any cash flow issue no?

The controversy surrounding Marin Cilic continues. Tennis fans are shocked and appalled that Cilic cited an injury when he withdrew from Wimbledon. YAWN!!!
If Andre Agassi was given a pass by what passed for drug testing and discipline because he tested positive for crystal meth why do people think that Cilic is the first player to ever cite an injury as a reason to withdraw from a competition?

Anyway the ITF has " released the entire decision on Cilic. Read it and make up your own mind. I think Cilic has shown respect for the sport by opting not to play while his appeal is pending unlike others who continue to play.

Sigh. There's even more. Patty Schnyder has surfaced and is separated from her last Rainer. He's living with a new girlfriend on a horse farm somewhere while Patty is said to be teaching tennis somewhere. I've attached a horrid Google translation.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues making somewhat controversial statements " regarding tennis, his this time but of course he threw another player under a bus.

How did Murray win his slams? Because he's surrounded by 14 people. I won't be travelling with that many, but perhaps I'll have a group where I train.

It's complicated for me. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. It's really a bit sad because I train like crazy. I'm an animal physically, but that's not how I'm going to beat the top 2-3. I've tried to see just how far I can go. But there's a point where my body says to me "You're a nice guy, but this isn't possible." I can't go 5 sets with those guys without it affecting my health. I'm not on the same planet as Nadal and Djoko. Their level never drops, so I have to beat them quickly.

I have to be explosive. I have to change the way I work. I have to be quicker, pack more punch, move forward, hurt them.

Some things never change. The link is in French which the machine translations don't screw up as much as they do other languages.

(Illustration: Igor Kravarik photo d5300016-1828-4e52-b383-be1dfd72518c_zps03e8714d.jpg
Illustration Igor Kravarik

You didn't think I'd leave this out did you?

I have to say tennis fans are loyal fans. Player abused meth? Still has tons of fans. Player mistakenly takes a controlled substance? Loyal fans. Player and her family attack soon to be ex husband, steals his passport and other items, and it's a plot by the estranged husband to get his hands on her money.

So far only one source has posted a denial by Hingis camp and it wasn't attributed to anyone.
Why did Martina and her family jump her ex? Who knows? It'll probably be revealed by sources overseas not anyone who covers tennis here. There were questions about why she was enshrined in the Tennis Hall of Fame and then went back out on the main tour as a doubles player but have you read any explanation about why that was okay? Me neither.

I did find out that Hingis is known for having a temper. There is the incident from back in the day between her and her then doubles partner Anna Kournikova.

In November 2000 they played an exhibition match in Santiago, Chile, which featured an on-court strop, followed by a locker-room bust-up over a disputed line call. Hingis had asked Kournikova to intervene regarding the decision but the Russian is reported to have concurred with the line judge. At the next changeover Hingis, then the women's No1, hissed: "Do you think you are the queen? Because I am the queen."

Cut to the locker room later and a screaming match that involved vases, flowers and trophies being flung. "It was so bad I thought they were going to beat each other up," said a frightened Jaime Fillol, the former Chilean player, who organised the event.

The details are " HERE

Who says tennis is dull?