Picket Fence Newsreel: The Monte Pythons.
1. Notable victories overnight in the Monaco principality of Monte Carlo – Ernie whipped Chiudy into submission with a 63 62 win.
Nalby and Birdy had it even easier, with the identical score line of 63 61 over Beck and Feli respectively, while JCF baked Granola bars, 60 63.
Perhaps more intriguing than the matches – WHAT’S WITH THE HAIR DUDE? YOU LOOK 50.
2. As Monte Carlo got under way over the last two days, the biggest news so far is that Novak Djokovic has split with Todd Martin after 7 month collaboration. The pair teamed up before the US Open last year, but Nole’s serving woes and some communication issues between long-time coach Marion Vajda and Martin saw the tenure come to an end.
“You’re always going to have problems like that when you work with two coaches. They did not understand each other very well.”
“Todd is a fantastic person. He has so much experience and was willing to share everything with me. There are no hard feelings but we just decided it was not working. It was probably a question of understanding what kind of person I am.“
In other words, Martin didn’t click with the Djokovic team.
The problem was probably exacerbated by Djokovic’s serve problems over the past few months. Martin reportedly attempted to tinker with Djoko’s serve to protect his shoulders, but if the woes of Ivanovic and JJ at the Australian Open were anything to go by, messing with the serve at this stage of a player’s career is just asking for misery.
“Todd has specific ideas on some issues of work. There were no major problems, but changes in my service did not work out. It was a good experience and I’m not sorry for it.”
“At the ATP Finals in London my shoulder was tired and the body automatically started to make adjustments because of that,” Djokovic explained. “Then we tried a slightly different action and it all got very complicated. So now I am just going back to my original action.”
3. You didn’t think I was going to skip this did ya? Over the last weekend, Stanislas Wawrinka took home his second title in almost 4 years, defeating Victor Hanescu in the final 63 62. It was his first victory over the Romanian in 3 attempts.
While competing there, Stan took some time off to visit the local mosque with his coach.
The tournament, one of the few on the ATP tour schedule played in Africa, was declared to be a success.
“It was fun to watch, and even though there weren’t a lot of Moroccans at the tournament, it is growing in popularity here, especially as we have had our share of good players recently,” said Said Chobkar, an avid tennis watcher who has documented the rise of the sports popularity in local media. He said that this year, more and more young Moroccans “are picking up a racket and started to hit some balls. Hopefully this will mean more success for us on the international stage.”
Majed Ibrahim, a young tour operator based in Casablanca, said he made more money during the tennis tournament that he had in the previous three months combined.
“These kind of events are really great for the country, because it brings in a lot of money from foreigners who want to see the place and not just watch sports,” he said.
Source: Bikya Masr
How awesome is this sport of ours?
As for the Swiss, the title – coming a week after his 25th birthday – was a resounding statement that he still has the drive to win at smaller tournaments, despite recently becoming oldie and a daddy. Oh wait –
Even so, it was important for Stan to get the monkey off his back after losing 5 consecutive finals. He’ll be looking to build on his victory in Monte Carlo, where Ilham and baby Alexia will be joining him for the first time.
FUCK YOU, ROGER FEDERER. We could’ve had a Mighty Swiss Babes play date.
4. The ATP has a new video: DIMPLES AND DOLPHINS. My heart almost ruptured.
5. Leon Smith, former coach of Andy Murray, has been officially named Britain’s Davis Cup captain and the head of men’s tennis at the LTA. While the rest of us took a moment to wonder out loud – “Leon WHO?” – Mark Petchey was first to jump the gun and bitch to the media.
“When Roger Draper came into the LTA it was all about a world-class leadership team, world-class people and this is it; four years down the track we are putting someone in charge of the men’s game and the Davis Cup who has none of these qualities.”
“So are we saying the strategy before was wrong and now we’re on the right one, or are we actually saying we don’t have a clue and are sticking somebody in the job who we think might persuade Andy Murray to play Davis Cup? Andy will make his own decision and I know Andy, he was happy to go with the majority view of what the players wanted in terms of a Davis Cup captain – and the majority of those players wanted Greg Rusedski.”
After the dramas surrounding Tennis Australia and now with the LTA, it seems that the politics of tennis federations aren’t so different from the politics of girlworld.
6. Lastly, congratulations to Sania Mirza, who married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik on Monday. There was no end to the drama as the April 15th wedding had to be brought forward by 3 days, after Muslim clerics in Hyderabad criticised the fact that Malik was living in his future bride’s house.
The ceremony was held in the presence of family and friends at a hotel in Hyderabad, attended by a delegation from the Pakistani parliament, including Pakistan’s minister for population welfare, who has asked Sania and Shoaib to become ambassadors for the country’s program to curb population growth.
So … I guess we know what that “family planning kit” is all about now.
But enough of all that. Wedding photos! Hurrah!