Oh my lovelies, work and study has basically killed what’s left of my free time, and it appears that I am no longer on top of the latest developments in tennis porn. DISASTUH. So to make up for my negligence in patrolling the internetz for fluff, here’s a picspam to make your lady tubes flutter and your dude pendulum swing.
Well … GO ON!
Marat Safin, Instyle Russia May 2011
Hands down, one of the best photo shoots of Safin I’ve ever seen, because it captured precisely so many different facets of Marat Safin: charismatic, kind, cheeky, with a depth of character hidden underneath all his rhetoric and all that friggin crap he puts you through as a tennis fan.
One of the hardest people in tennis to dislike. Despite the aforementioned bucket loads of crap.
For excerpts from the interview, clickey over here.
Photographer: Erez Sabag
Picspam: Exceptionally attractive people in suits probably won’t make you appreciate your share of the human gene pool, but they WILL soothe that terrible anguish in your privates.
You might be one giant clusterfuck of a tournament from the corny ball girls to the utterly unnavigable website, but bring me Roger Federer doing his squinty Sex-Face at the camera and I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVAZ.
Roger, Rafa, Murray, as well as WTA ladies Aravene Rezai and Safina attended the Madrid Open Gala last night as the tournament kicked off. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Mr Vavrinec chose an excellent tie for the occasion.
On the other hand, I’m really not digging this spotted navy blue tie and shiny jacket combo from Haggisface. But then again, you can’t go too wrong in black and white.
Every time I see Rafa’s hair, I am overcome by a sudden urge to weep … or look for any canaries flying out from behind his head.
WHY? WHYYY?! WHY DOES XISCA NOT CONFISCATE WHATEVER HAIR PRODUCT HE THINKS HE NEEDS TO USE?
Yes. Marat effing Safin. With his baby sister.
I’m awesome and you’re welcome.
Provided you can see past the sssslew of sssssleaze ssssssslithering off him, Charly Moya really ain’t so bad looking.
I’m just sayin’.
I think everyone took the “black tie” dress code a little too literally.
More Marat, BECAUSE HE DON’T NEED NO EFFING TIE. (In fact, HE DON’T NEED NO EFFING SHIRT.)
It’s just a little unfortunate that Safina looks like his mother in his photo. Oops.
JCF took it upon himself to show Rafa how to use hair products to great effect, with a hairline that resembles the rugged cliffs of Moher. Yumz.
I have no idea why Wogie is squinting in every photo. I’m assuming he thinks that’s his Sex-Face the way some women think pouting is theirs.
Poor deluded puppies. *pouts towards computer screen*
Wait … that’s it? I demand MOAR TENNIS PORN. MOAR!
Federporn Friday went up on Saturday last week, and Roger – the wanker – lost a few hours later. As a result, it is my solemn decision that there shall be NO FEDERPORN FRIDAY until 15 July. LIVE WITH IT FOLKS.
Meanwhile, let me use the Friday column to be adventurers, exploring the realms of other exotic porn species. I asked for twitter submissions, you fence-sitters responded.
A number of you suggested a retro-themed FPF: the name Stefan Edberg came up more than a few times. As a child of the late 80s, Edberg feels like an uncle-figure to me, AND NO ONE LOOKS AT THEIR UNCLE’S THIGHS IN THAT WAY. OKAY?
Besides, my idea of retro-porn is more along the lines of the dark, brooding Ivan Lendl, bringing sexy-fug back. Yeaww.
Or if we were really serious about going retro: Frank Shields, year-end No 1 back in 1933. Former Wimbledon and US Open finalist, rocking the white blazer like his name was Ro – umm. Whatever.
You may know his grand-daughter – quite a child star she was! And in keeping with family tradition, she too married (and divorced) a tennis player. Read More…
1. In life, you can be a man of words, or a man of action. You can call for change, or you can – in the too-often quoted words of Gandhi – be the change you want to see in the world. By the same token, you can be a “World No 1”, or you can be a true leader.
Leading that charmed life of his, Roger Federer can be both.
With other players are busy nursing injuries or playing Mickey Mouse tournaments in 3 different continents, le Fed announced that he is embarking on a short trip to Ethiopia to visit one of his charitable projects.
I am on my way to visit one of the projects that I support in Ethiopia. But before I left home yesterday, the Austrian Postal Service presented me with a stamp. It was a nice honor.
It’s been said so often that we don’t think it’s necessary to say it anymore, and coming from me of all people, it probably doesn’t mean much, but: this man is good for the sport. When was the last time an ATP player initiated a visit to Africa in the middle of a tennis season?
2. He’s bbbbaaack? Not quite. Marat Safin will play the Champions Series event in Rio next month (March 12-14). In his own words, “it will be an interesting change to be one of the young guys on the tour again.“
He’s doing a great job at convincing us that he’s sick of tennis, isn’t he? Sheesh dude, at least gimme some time to actually start missing you.
3. Mentioning retiree exhos, this has somehow escaped my attention: Ivan Lendl is due to play his first exho against Mats Willy in Atlantic City on April 10. They’ll be joined by Venus (host), Andy Roddick and – yes it’s him again – Marat Safin. (Clickey)
I know I’m way too young to like him, but I totally have a thing for the sexy-fugness of Ivan Lendl. I don’t like to talk about it.
4. Del Potro is due to miss Dubai and the Davis Cup tie between Argentina and Sweden because of a wrist injury.
He sustained it on Thursday during a practice session, and has been bothered by tendinitis in that wrist since the start of the year.
Boo. No Soddercakes v del Poop.
Only one of those two articles shed new light. I’ll leave it at that.
6. If you were Jelena Jankovic: you just lost in the third round of a slam. Again.
You haven’t made it into Week 2 of single slam since the US Open 2008. You’re on the verge of falling out of the top 10, and you spend half the time being overpowered and outhit by your fellow players.
Do you really think it’s a good idea to sack your coach right now and go solo?
7.It might be unexciting now to watch the top seeds crush their way through Mickey Mouse draws, but hopefully, we’ll catch some a semi-decent finals over the weekend.
In Pattaya, Vera Zvonareva advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alberta Brianti of Italy. Since I can’t even pronounce half the names left in the draw, I’ll be mightily peeved if Vera doesn’t win this.
Melanie Oudin is having a good week after her Fed Cup run, defeating Nutty Patty in straight sets for a place in the quarterfinals. Life is also smooth sailing for Shahar Peer, who has become the Queen of WTA Tier II since late last year.
Verdasco and Roddick stay on course for a dream final in San Jose. Novak Djokovic claimed some Swiss scalp in his first tournament as the World No 2, beating Marco Chiudinelli 64 62, while Monfils, Misha and Kolya all progressed in straight sets. *Yawn*
We better get Djokovic v Davydenko and Verdasco v Roddick this weekend. I need my tennis high.
UPDATE: Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse have been removed from the list of suspended players and are now eligible to play tournaments. Will Craig Tiley give a wildcard to Wicky, who is obviously grossly over-qualified for the qualification rounds?
1. Despite having her one year ban suspended, the ITF claims that Yanina Wickmayer is still not eligible to play.
ITF spokesman Nick Imison said Tuesday that both players are still banned “until such point that we receive any further communication to suggest otherwise”.
Imison said the ITF is waiting to hear from the Belgian national anti-doping agency before it can make a formal ruling of their eligibility.
“Basically, it’s up to (them) to liaise with the Belgian court and make its decision based on that and inform us. As of last night, we hadn’t received any official correspondence at all.”
Since the Belgian ruling, Wicky was offered a wildcard to play at Auckland. She is also hoping for a wildcard to the Australian Open.
But the ITF maintains that the ban is still in force. “At this precise moment, she is ineligible to play,” Imison said.
“From our point of view, procedures are clear, and that if a decision is made by a national anti-doping authority, then these are sent though to us and then the ITF needs to make sure proper procedure has been followed,” Imison said. “At this stage, all we can say is that we await to receive the kind of relevant documentation and ruling from Belgium.”
Questions left unanswered:
- Does the Belgian court actually have jurisdiction for this or is it purely advisory?
- If the Belgian court does have jurisdiction over the matter, then surely its decision voids the bans?
- On what authority then does the ITF or the Belgian national anti-doping authority propose to ‘liaise’ with a Court or to even consider the ban to be still in place after a court ruling declaring otherwise? The last time I checked, being assholes isn’t a legitimate ground.
- In addition to domestic courts, Wickmayer and Malisse have also appealed to the Court of Arbitration and the European Human Rights Commission. So whose decision counts here? Is the ITF bound to listen to any of these so-called courts, commissions or tribunals?
One thing is for certain, you won’t find the answer to any of these in the media coverage on the matter. Most reports seem to accept that the ITF is free to just ignore a court ruling and Wickmayer can appeal to whoever the hell she wants. But what are the implications?
Does anyone – the ITF, WADA, the tournaments, Wickmayer and Malisse themselves included – actually know what’s going on?
2. Nicole Vaidisova has won her first match in 6 months, defeating Katalin Marosi 26 64 64 round 1 at the ITF Dubai 75k tournament.
Yes. It has come to that.
Word is that her current coach is Eric van Harpen, who used to work with MariKiri.
3. The Swiss have a thing for marrying pregnant girlfriends in uber-secret weddings.
Stanislas Wawrinka wedded his heavily pregnant concubine Ilham Vuilloud in a private civil ceremony on December 12. (Thanks FortuneCookie, HCFoo)
Dude, couldn’t you have shaved for your own wedding?
The couple is expected to have another wedding next year, after the birth of their child (children?!) in February.
“We shall celebrate our union in a church ceremony with lots of guests when our child is able to carry our rings,” she said. (Swissinfo)
I can’t wait. Baby Stan will cause ovaries all around the world to flutter with excitement. Err, that is if ovaries are capable of fluttering.
4. I hate agreeing with Pat Cash, but I do. The former Wimbledon champ had some sombre things to say about the state of tennis in this country.
”To be perfectly honest, it would be good to see greater depth in the Australian Open play-offs.
”The reality is, even if they [the Aussies] dominate, to win a round in the Australian Open is still a big ask. If any of them get through and win a round or two, that’s a great achievement.
”In many ways Australia is behind the rest of the world, unfortunately.”
Cash is also reserving judgement on Bernard Tomic.
”I’m reluctant to say that he’s going to be a superstar, it’s not possible to judge that.
”He’s got work to do on his game, he’s got a lot of improvement and that’s a good thing.
”I wouldn’t expect him to set the world on fire in the next couple of years but in time, if he keeps working on his game, in two or three years he might be able to knock on some doors, the top 100 or top 50.
”He’s got a lot of potential but I’d be reluctant to say this is the kid to watch, it just adds too much pressure.”
”Bernard Tomic and some of those young guys should be getting through events and winning a round or two if they’re going to be world champions,” Cash said. ”I don’t think people realise how tough it is, particularly in the men’s game. It’s brutal.
”It’s a big difference to 20 years ago when I first started, there were some guys who weren’t very good.
”The girls, if they have a good run, can win a couple of matches if they’re lucky.”
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
It’s a sad state of affairs folks, and like Cash, I ain’t jumping on the Tomic bandwagon yet.
I’m not even sure that I want a seat on that bandwagon after Tomic’s snubbing of Hewitt at Wimbledon this year. I may not be the biggest fan of Hewitt, but the guy deserves more respect and less jealousy from the little twat.
5. Marat Safin has been elected vice president of Russian Olympic Committee.
What when how WHY?!
Oh, and he’s due to play in Buenos Aires this week, along with Moya and Nalbandian.
6. I have no idea what the hell they’re even talking about, but this was way below the belt.
Ouch. Who the hell is Skip Bayless and who is he to trash talk Andy Roddick for being one of the top 5 players of this decade?
Here’s the deal, I’ve had years when I scoffed at this guy, got frustrated with his ups and downs. I’ve announced to the world many a times that he’s way too overrated for someone with only two slams. But how can you not have a soft spot for this guy?
I’ve already written a shpill on Safin and Santoro’s retirements during the US Open, so I won’t wax lyrical again, except to say that there is no one like him.
Let’s leave on a happy note: Marat Safin moments.
“My friend, there is nothing so sexy as a woman who is angry. Perhaps when she is even throwing things.”
“Two Grand Slams, it’s already something. One Grand Slam, you can win by mistake.”
This is better than sex” – Safin after winning the Davis Cup.
“It’s like love. When you look too hard, you don’t find it. When you let it happen naturally, it comes.” – Marat on how he found his form at the AO 2002.
[Webchat at Indian Wells 2001]
gabrielle: MARAT: Do you find it hard to be a star? Do people recognize you in the street?
Marat_Safin: the stars are only in the sky
Girl: “Say something to me Marat!!”
Marat: ” Something.”
And last, but not least, to the Hippo.
“I’m not fighting with myself. Oh, my God. That’s how I am. You know, the story of the hippo? The hippo comes to the monkey and said, listen, I’m not a hippo. So, he paint himself like a zebra. He said but he’s still a hippo. He said but look at you, you’re painted like a zebra but you are a hippo. So then he goes, you know, like I want be a little parrot. So, he put the colours on him and he comes to the monkey and said but, sorry, you are a hippo. So, in the end, you know, he comes and said I’m happy to be a hippo. This is who I am. So, I have to be who I am and he’s happy being a hippo.”
— Marat Safin
Marat next plays an exho in Hong Kong in January 2010.
Excuse the intermittent blogging of late, I have 4 exams coming up in the next 6 days. Part of the deal with being a student is that you party, play, drink and procrastinate for the majority of the year, then comes every November, when life is a hell-hole and one that’s kicking your ass.
Never fear, if the exams were Novak Djokovic, then I’m Roger Federer – you win some and you lose some. As long as you win more than you lose.
Enough about me! Now tennis …
1. Simon Reed strikes again. For you West Wing buffs out there, post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Follow my logic here:
# Andy Murray won Valencia.
# Therefore, Andy Murray is BACK.
# Therefore, Andy Murray is the No 1 player outside the slams.
# Thus Andy Murray is the favourite for London, because LONDON IS NOT A SLAM.
# Thus Andy Murray is not the favourite for the Australian Open yet, because THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN IS A SLAM.
That, my dear friends, is Dootsie’s Concise Guide to Simon Reedism.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc indeed. Simon Reed is CJ, and I’m the President of the United States. God bless!
Marat lost to Baby-Marat. I’m sorry, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have paid any attention to him. I’ll look away now.
By the way, please tell me we still have Paris?
Okay, looking away now. No peeking.
In better news, up your glitter supplies for Doha as JJ secures the final spot to make up the top 8 by beating Lucie Safarova in straights 76 73.
This makes the final line up for Doha:
Yes Safina’s back to No 1 temporarily. You know what? No one gives a shit.
Not much to be said about JJ’s match against Mrs Berdych. JJ was consistent, she mostly is.
Not the same could be said about her closest rival to Doha, who lost 60 62 to Pironkova and requested that her identity be kept secret on this blog.
There, there. We won’t judge. Rest up that injured body of yours and come back firing next year.
Someone else who’s done for the year sooner than expected: Kim Clijsters lost in 3 sets against Pattycakes Schnyder, who apparently is still playing tennis.
The match was never televised, but just from the stats alone: is it a rule in women’s tennis that as soon as someone “makes it” on the big stage, they immediately screw up their serve?
There was a time when I used to like Pattycakes. She has this fabulously nutty vibe about her, must be the whole Harnecker thing.
But since that epic match against Sharapova at Roland Garros 2007, I’ve largely forgotten that Patty still existed, except in that far and fearsome land we call “the Temple of Lost Souls”.
She made it difficult for herself. She tried (very hard) to choke it away, but Schnyder prevailed finally 64 36 76(6) to deny us a potentially juicy quarterfinal between Clijsters and Sabine Licks.
Doha and Basel can’t come soon enough.
Was your 2000 U.S. Open victory over Pete Sampras a curse as much as a blessing?
MS: It was unexpected for me in the first place, because I didn’t think that I would get close to the finals, and to go to the finals and beat Sampras on his home ground—I don’t think so.
And then I ended up in the situation where I was fighting for No. 1 in the world and I made it. I was kind of struggling—you know, what’s next? I won a Grand Slam, I ended up No. 1 in the world, I never in my life would have dreamed about it and I made it. I was like, ‘”Game over.” I achieved everything I wanted, what’s next?’
It’s difficult when you’re 20 years old to understand what you want and what you’re aiming at. And also it was a problem that there wasn’t a real person who could guide me. I was guessing; I was a little bit stubborn. But anyway, for good or for bad, I did what I did, and I don’t really actually regret.
I probably would approach the situation slightly different [now], but that’s okay. I would never exchange my life for anybody else’s life. I’m grateful and I’m lucky and I’m blessed for the experiences I had throughout my life, and I would never, ever change my life.
Some part of me is sick of feeling bad about Safin retiring. But I don’t know why, but hearing Marat admit that he probably would’ve approached his post-2000 career differently in hindsight made me a little blue.
The massive “if only” hovering over Safin’s career is conspicuous enough to draw a sigh out of even his most ardent critics. He may have no regrets, but Marat cannot stop the world from ruing over the “what could’ve been’s“.
But sometimes I wonder if we would still love Marat Safin as much if he wasn’t the tortured, unfulfilled promise that he is. He may not be the greatest player that’s ever lived, but I’ll nominate Marat right now for the most charismatic player, if not of all time, then at least of the last decade.
Perhaps we just have to accept that some sparks, like Fed, turn into a raging fire, others burn brightly, but burn out fast.
By the way, the spark is still burning in Moscow, as Marat scored a top 10 win over Nikolay Davydenko.
Although given that Kolya had just won Shanghai and could not actually gain points from the Kremlin Cup after filling his quota of ATP 250 tournaments for the year, it’s not that much of an upset.
Still, I’ll take one more match from his guy. Just one more.