Tag Archive | Sam Querrey

The Federstalker: Thirst-quenching.

You know that feeling? When you’re absolutely parched, dying of thirst, and you finally, FINALLY, get your hands a glass of icy cold water. You take one giant gulp. Then a second one. And all of a sudden, you’re drinking and drinking and drinking and drinking – your throat bulging, liquids sploshing around inside you – until you’re completely bloated from stomach to bladder.

Then you sit back, burp, and think about how fucking awesome life is?

Here’s your blast of Fed-related goodies to bloat you from stomach to bladder.

On his year thus far:

“我今年的运气不大好,不过这是很平常的事情,职业网球的特性就是这样,谁也不可能永远处于巅峰。但我从未想过何时退役,我对年底的总决赛充满了憧憬,我觉得自己还能在将来取得更高的成就,我有信心通过今后的比赛重返世界第一。”

“I haven’t had the best of luck this year, but that’s normal. This is what professional tennis is like, no one can stay on top forever. But I’ve never thought about retirement and I’m full of hope for the World Tour Finals. I think I can still achieve more in the future and I’m confident that I can get back to No 1.”

On the China Open

费德勒还解释了自己为何没能参加北京的中国公开赛,“对于一名职业球员来说,确实不是所有比赛都能够参加的。越到赛季末,日程就更难安排,何况还有伤病和体能分配的问题。我希望今后有机会参加中国公开赛。实际上两年前奥运会时我已经在北京打过比赛了,没有遗憾,也感谢北京球迷对我的厚爱。”

Federer explained why he couldn’t play the China Open in Beijing: ‘for a professional tennis player, it’s true that you can’t play in every tournament. Farther towards the end of the season, the trickier your schedule gets, especially if you’ve got any injuries or physical conditioning problems. I hope to play the China Open someday. Actually 2 years ago during the Olympics, I played in Beijing, so I have no regrets, and I think the fans in Beijing for their support.’

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Since arriving in Shanghai, Federer has spent some time practicing with Sam Querrey.

Fun fact #1: Querrey asked Federer if he has made the World Tour Finals yet, Federer said he didn’t know, but “I’m sure that Rafa’s made it.”

Fun fact #2: according to the fastidious Shanghai paparazzi, Federer and Querrey went through 4 buckets of balls during practice. Hard work? I don’t fink so: Querrey challenged Roger to see who can hit more balls onto the roof of the stadium.

FUCKERS, GET BACK TO WORK. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE FUN AT THE EXPENSE OF DOOTSIE’S STOMACH ULCERS.

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Fun Fact #3: …..

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Fun fact No 4: 15 months hold twin GOATs (kids?) in the making…

提到自己的双胞胎女儿,费德勒高兴地说:“我很高兴她们两个都已经能够拿得住网球拍了,不过将来她们要从事何种运动还要她们自己选择。”

“I’m so happy they [Myla and Charlene] can both hold tennis rackets now, but whatever sport they want to pay in the future is their own choice.”

15 months old and Roger Federer is testing to see if his twin mangos can hold tennis rackets? Oh Feddy, don’t even try to tell me you don’t care. DON’T. EVEN.

This calls for more Federporn, me thinks:

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(Original articles: YNET, QQ Sports)

Burp.

xx doots

Quotable Quotes: Jaded.

Q. You had talked about being here for five weeks, you and John both putting in the time, the effort, and the matches. You won a ton of matches. You rethinking that a little bit?

SAM QUERREY: No, I mean, even the first week I was over here in Rome I lost first round. It was similar to a match like this. Passive not that I was passive today. The main thing is I didn’t enjoy myself on the court. Wanted off the court.

Q. Is it a natural reaction just being over here?

SAM QUERREY: No. I don’t know what it is. I just need to just be in a better mood or just need to enjoy the competition and enjoy being out there more than I do.

Right now, I mean, I’ll enjoy it, and as soon as one thing goes wrong, I’m done.

Q. Were you in dubs with John?

SAM QUERREY: I am right now. I won’t be in about an hour.

Q. Just want to get out of here?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah.

Q. So do you feel like going in you’re not in the frame of mind, or does it happen right in the middle of the fight?

SAM QUERREY: I think it happens in the middle. I think if you ask my coach, David, he might say otherwise. When I lost that second set tiebreaker and got broken in the first game, I was done. I wanted to be off the court.

I started thinking about leaving and pulling out of the doubles and how much I wanted to go home, how much I wasn’t enjoying.

You’re never gonna win a match if you’re just being negative. I’m only hurting myself.

Q. Isn’t that the definition of a professional, that you don’t despair so fully as the match progresses, that you somehow control your feelings?

SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I need to work on that. I’ve not been a professional the last, you know, on and off for the last few months. You know, you’re out there facing one opponent. I don’t want to face the opponent and myself.

You know, I just need to be better than today, in this case, it was Robby. It’s someone different every week. But I don’t want to be fighting myself out there and also fighting the opponent.

Q. Yet, Sam, you’ve had some good results on clay. You won Belgrade, won Houston. Are you fighting sort of a Jeckyll/Hyde part of yourself here?

SAM QUERREY: A little bit. Those are 250s, and they’re great. I love you know, a tournament win is a tournament win. A final is great. It builds my confidence, but I won Belgrade and my ranking didn’t move. I’m kind of past that point right now. Those 250s do nothing for me ranking wise. It’s all about the Masters Series and the Grand Slams.

That’s where I just have not been playing well. You know, I just need to mentally get it together in my head. I need to enjoy myself out there. I need to enjoy playing. You know, if a guy has a breakpoint against me, I should know, Hey, I’ve got one of the biggest serves out there. Let’s see you win this point off me.
But like I said, I just tank some points.

Q. What has David said about that?

SAM QUERREY: He thinks I’m a little tapped out, which I am. We haven’t really talked about it in depth yet, because I just basically finished and came right here.

Q. What’s next? Next tournament?

SAM QUERREY: Right now I’m scheduled to play in Queen’s.

Q. Do you think you’ll get there?

SAM QUERREY: I mean, I don’t know. I’m going home tomorrow, and then, yeah, hopefully I’ll be there.

If you were Sam Querrey – you’ve just spent five weeks of your life building up your clay game, tirelessly winning matches at tournaments big and small, hoping that you’ll score a decent run in Paris. But it all came crashing down real fast – you lost first round, to a guy no one’s heard of since 2005. You wished you had sat on a glass table instead.

It all just sucks a little, doesn’t it? The last thing you wanted to do is to step into a room full of mostly American reporters, questioning you with the look of a disappointed father on their faces. So you tell it like it is – “I lost the will to win”, “I’m having trouble enjoying myself”.

It could be a form of rebellion. It could be a roundabout way of calling for understanding. I think I get it. There are times when my ass gets kicked by Life too. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed either, and say as much.

The point is – you sulk a little, then you complain some more, but you get out of bed anyway. Barring clinical depression – a disappointing lack of professionalism from Querrey, who followed his loss by pulling out of doubles with Isner … and pulling out of twitter.

At least Querrey actually turned up to the press conference. Victoria Azarenka never made it, and copped a $4000 fine for skipping the media mongrels after her early exit to Dulko.

As always, defeat is a better test of character than victory.

xx doots

Weekend Winners: Bad karma sutra.

A little snippet of the Melbourne music scene before we get onto the tennis, worth it just for the guy at the start.

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1. Dear Tennis Gods, it would be great if you … you know … stopped kicking my ass. Weekend results – in the order of misery:

Madrid: Aravene Rezai def Justine Henin: 46 75 60.

Madrid: Lucie Safarova def Maria Sharapova 64 63.

Whatshisface def. GOAT 62 76(5).

Darth Federer def Dootsie 60 60.

I wonder how Maria Sharapova feels these days – back in 08, she was playing the best tennis of her career before her body came crashing down on her. She came back, slowly but surely, climbing her way into the top 20 with a rustier, more uncertain brand of tennis, before her body crashed again.

But Sharapova wouldn’t be Sharapova if she didn’t have that never-ending relentlessness to her. It’s no surprise that she lost first match in Madrid – coming back from injury, rusty, hasn’t played or won much this year, she had the misfortune of drawing the baby-faced giant-killer that is Lucie Safarova. No frazzling needed – her comeback from injury begins in earnest in Strasbourg.

As for Justine, she was reportedly ill after Stuttgart, looks like she ran out of gas in the third set. I say “looks like”, since no network had the decency to cover an OOP featuring Venus, Henin and Sharapova.

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2. To top it off, Jizzy let match point slip at 63 53 before losing to Querrey 36 76(4) 64. WHAT. EVER. No one wants an erectile dysfunctional trophy anyway.

Mentioning erectile dysfunction …

(Lordy, Nole looks pre-pubescent.)

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3. Since his very public act of self-mutilation two years ago, Mikhail Youzhny has tumbled down the rankings before sneaking his way slowly back up. Who knew? Dude’s closing in on Top 10 again.

Over in Munich, Mish outlasted Red Hot Cilic Peppers 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, making it third time lucky for the finalist of 2007 and 2009.

Marin. Scruffy. Dimples. Alas …

4. Over in Estoril, Whatshisface successfully defended his title. *grumbles*

What happens in Estoril stays in Estoril, ya hear me?

xx doots

Notes on a scandal.

I was educated to believe in due process. Due process is the essence of what I study, do and practice. I treat it like a Commandment – thou shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Thou shall have all the rights of an innocent man, even if those rights produce an irrational result, even when they lead to cumbersome procedures and wasteful delays.

Because ultimately, due process is the one safeguard we have against an angry, irrational mob. It’s what stops the innate desire within us to imprison, kill or harm those who do wrong to our sense of justice. And should we err, at least we err on the side of caution. Due process is totally my Roger Federer.

Umm … what I meant to say was, I’m a fan of due process. Okay?

And yet, Wayne Odesnik’s case never felt like it was about due process. He has already been afforded those rights by the Brisbane Magistrates Court. He was found guilty of importing HGH into Australia, and as we know – possession in itself is a doping offence.

So why is he still playing?

“A provisional suspension without a hearing is not allowed under the tennis anti-doping programme,” ITF Technical Commission anti-doping chief Dr. Stuart Miller told AFP.

“We are conducting an investigation at the moment. We are following the process described in our anti-doping programme, we have no choice but to follow this process, it is in our rules and regulations. We are trying to conduct it as quickly as we can.”

“I can’t control what the players think. We can’t change the rules just for the sack of one instance. We have to follow the rules.”

Here we get to the irrationality of affording someone due process: Yanina Wickmayer, who neither failed nor missed a test, was suspended before she had a chance to appeal, while Wayne Odesnik gets to keep shoving HGH in our faces in Houston, seemingly protected from the full wrath of the anti-doping program.

Never mind, the rules are rules. I can’t argue with them. Or rather, I choose not to. I’m a fan, remember?

But the rules aside, what of Odesnik?

A part of me can’t help by marvel at his sheer audacity in deciding to play in Houston.

He must’ve known that he was in for quite a verbal shellacking both in the media and in the locker room this week. He must’ve known that there is a slim-to-none chance that he’ll get away with this. He must surely know that once he’s banned, he’ll have to hand back the prize money he wins this week. So why keep playing? Why deny those who didn’t have vials of HGH pulled out of their suitcases the chance to earn some points and prize money?

To quote a now infamous cold war exchange – “have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

Is it defiance? And defiance against what – the concept of fair play?

Is it denial? How does one deny something he’s already admitted to in court – possession of a banned substance?

“I have never used nor taken HGH or any other banned substance in my life. I am fully cooperating with their investigation and I will have no further comment on the matter until it is concluded.”

Riiight.

Total bullshit aside, suppose I am willing to entertain the idea that there is some massive unforeseen twist in the plot here. Suppose I am inclined to play the devil’s advocate: why keep it a secret Wayne? If you do have a get-out-of-jail card, why not play it now? Why hide behind a notorious attorney known for defending sports criminals? Why “release” a statement of denial rather than a “good faith” explanation? Or simply a declaration of regret?

How can I even play the devil’s advocate if I can’t put a human face on that devil? By being evasive, ducking behind his fancy attorney and exploiting the ITF red tape, Odesnik has turned a shady situation into a nasty one, instead of being a man, owning up and apologising?

Deep down, I think he knows that morally it would be the harder path to take, but easy was never an option. Not from the moment he got caught.

To add another dimension to the plot, Sam Querrey has told the Houston Chronicle in reference to playing Odesnik, “I refuse to lose to that guy”.

When asked about Sam’s statement, Odesnik quipped, “we’ll see what happens tomorrow.” And boy, I can’t wait. I’m getting popcorn.

The two has never faced each other on the ATP tour, but Odesnik leads 3-0 in challengers and futures. Querrey, of course, is a much better player these days than back in 06 when the pair last played. He’ll no doubt go into the match as the slight favourite, but  as we know – clay is Wayne Odesnik’s most successful surface. More importantly for Samurai Sam, he has to win because he wants to win, because he wants to be in his first clay final and because he is the better player.

Because the alternative – seeking some sort of poetic justice – doesn’t sound like much of a winning strategy.

xx doots

Miami: So there’s tennis going on in Florida, I hear.

But what would I know? Since there was no actual coverage of the tournament.

1. Can’t say I’m sorry to have missed this match though: Rochus def Djokus 62 67 64. Can’t even say it surprised me.

Never mind Dubai, Nole’s game has been falling apart since the start of the year. And Oliver Rochus has giant-killing tendencies, almost booted Fed out of Miami one year, if I remember correctly.

“I wasn’t attacking,” Djokovic said. “I was just kind of waiting for him to make the shots, and it wasn’t the right approach. He was making me run a lot, so points were really long. That was exhausting.”

Exhausting? No kidding. Like a cartoon character, Oliver Rochus has legs that run fast enough to leave a cloud of dust hovering waist down. And he now leads Djoko in their career H2H: 3-1.

But at the end of the day, Djoko went “Ivano” on us. 11 double faults, a steady flow of unforced errors and a smashed racquet later, he was booed off court by the Miami crowd, who evidently didn’t appreciate the moody vibes.

At least Ana waited til she was No 1 to start her free fall.

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2. Speak of the deviless, the “Ana Ivanovic Prayer Circle” can now breathe a sigh of relief: she won a match – in straight sets too, thus ending a 4 match winning streak.

No actually hold that breath, because she’s due to play Aga next, and it doesn’t get any easier from there on.

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3. Nole’s departure signaled the start of the culling in the bottom quarter of the draw:
Blake could not hold off Bellucci, conceding the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, while Querrey was quelled by Chardy 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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4. After her early loss to Gisela Dulko last week, I expected Justine to run into some trouble against Demmy. But she was surprisingly solid on serve, wrapping up the win in straight sets 63 62. Easy peasy.

Not that I saw any of it, no thanks to the lack of coverage.

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5. Hormone-gate!

Wayne Odesnik pleaded guilty to importing eight vials containing eight milligrams of performance-enhancing human growth hormone into Australia, ahead of the Brisbane International this year.

Odesnik was fined over AUD$8000 for his conduct by the Brisbane Magistrates Court and the matter has been referred onto ITF, which could decide to ban him for 2 years.

The ATP released a statement to the AP, saying that they were

“extremely disappointed in the behavior of this individual, which is in no way representative of the sport of tennis”.

The ITF had no comments.

“The case has been referred to the tennis anti-doping program, and we don’t have any further comment. It’s just like any other case that gets referred to the anti-doping program, we don’t have a comment on it.”

But Randy did have something to say:

“There’s nothing worse than that [HGH]. That’s just plain cheating, and they should throw him out of tennis. There’s just no room for it.”

Jimmy Blake said he didn’t know Odesnik well, but liked the guy well enough.

“I wouldn’t say shocked is the word, because sports is a business and people are trying to find ways to get ahead and that’s unfortunate. I wish it didn’t happen in sports, but I think we’re all realistic in the fact that it does happen and we do the best possible job of policing. … I hope it doesn’t sully our sport as much. You want to feel like you’re playing on a fair playing field. I’ve always felt we have in the ATP.

“It’s the same thing you hear about the criminal next door – he seemed like a nice guy until they found something going on,” Blake said. “People look for a way to get ahead, and that’s unfortunate.

“It’s something that’s frustrating. You want to feel like you’re playing on a fair playing field. I’m glad they caught him.”

Canas, who retired last week to coach Odesnik, found himself dragged into a drug controversy once more. During Canas’ career, he received a 2 year ban from tennis after testing positive to a masking agent. There were mitigating circumstances found, and he eventually received an undisclosed sum and a shortened ban of 15 months.

“I heard this morning, but really I don’t know anything,” Canas said. “It’s tough for me to speak because I don’t know anything.”

Who know coaching could be so incriminating?

And more importantly, why did it take a national law enforcement authority to find a cheater in the sport of tennis?

Given Andre’s revelations late last year, and the lack of any records indicating that Odesnik tested positive previously for HGH, it’s time the ATP and ITF starts treating the issue of doping more stringently. Incidents like these do much to sully the reputation of the sport and public confidence in fair play.

Picket Fence Newsreel: The one that didn’t go up in Vancouver.

1. The median age on the ATP World Tour is getting older as the WTA gets younger. It seems that 30 is the new 20, or so the good form of Juan Carlos Ferrero would have us believe.

Having hit the big “three-oh” last week, Boss took home back-to-back titles, claiming his erectile dysfunctional trophy with a dramatic 57 64 63 win over Ferrer.

Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of Spanish tennis. The only Spaniard I’ve ever really liked was Rafael Nadal. As a nation – to use some gross generalisations here – Spain has a culture of producing mentally infallible grinders in the same way France produces charismatic nutjobs full of talent but devoid of brains.

But back to Ferrero, who – Rafa aside – is probably one of my favourite Spaniards. Compared to the rest of the red dirt grinders, Juanqui has more aggression and craft in his game. Watching him construct points with a mixture of instinct and strategy has always been a pleasure. It’s the quality that made him a slam champion and former World No 1.

With this win, Ferrero returns to the top 20 after falling outside the top 90 with injuries last year. What an amazing effort.

Watch out, clay season.

“I feel unbelievable after winning two weeks in a row,” said Ferrero.

“It is a great feeling. I think the key to my current success is the physical work I have done. I have been working very hard and I know that I can be on the court forever. That helps my game a lot because I get to the ball much early and can be more aggressive.

“This also helps me mentally. I feel very strong and know that I have more resources now when playing important points.”

2. While it was all about the old dogs in Buenos Aires, the men’s final in Memphis featured a meeting TO DECIDE THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN TENNIS – Isner and Querrey.

Urgh just look at them! All adorable and squigee like plasticine!

As you’d expect from the tallest final in ATP history, the match featured a serve fest from both guys with Isner playing impeccable tennis for the first two sets. Not to be deterred by the rain of aces, Querrey fought back from 2-5 down in the second set tiebreak, with the help of some tension from Isner, and maintained an early break lead in the third to take the title 67(3) 76(5) 63.

Oh John Izzy, you had it easy, but then you got dizzy, and lost in a breezy. 😦

3. If I could choose a minor tennis tournament visit one day, it would be Memphis. As far as I could tell from following the tournament last week – fabulous atmosphere, cozy little venue, sensible trophies and a supportive crowd.

Wish I was there.

4. Corona Extra is the ATP’s new global premier partner. (clickey)

Good job on getting the partnership. It’s not the most family-friendly of labels, though I don’t know that it actually needs to be. Sport and booze, MFEO.

5. Looking ahead to the week –

Will Federer’s withdrawal help Novak Djokovic’s quest to defend a title for the first time in his career?

Will Ferrero continue his streak of Latin American dominance and set himself up as a Tier II favourite for the clay season?

Will Venus maintain her form from Dubai last week to defend yet another title in Acapulco?

Will Elena Dementieva realise she can’t play a tournament every single week of the year and still expect to contend for slams?

Will the lung infection be so overawed by Federer’s fabulous presence that it’ll choke and play too defensively, causing Roger’s illness to come with an asterisk?

Or let’s hope so anyway. More hot chocolate for you Federbear. 😦

xx doots

Passing Thoughts: Jumping Ships

1. It’s official, Andy Murray has left Fred Perry for adidas.

It’s a pity, he had spent all those years wearing whatever potato sac Fred Perry gave him, and just when the designs got better this year, Mandy’s leaving.

In an official statement, adidas confirmed that Andy will wear the Competition line and the Barricade.

 

adidas VP Global Sports Marketing, Jocelyn Robiot says, “We are delighted to welcome Andy Murray in to the adidas tennis family.  Andy is a young, dynamic player that embodies adidas’ pure performer qualities.  He is a very driven and dedicated athlete and we look forward to working with him on developing our Barricade products and helping him achieve his Impossible in 2010.”

 

2. It’s “hello goodbye” for Adidas this week, as Sam Qurrey jumped ship for K-Swiss, the sponsor of Tommy Haas, Mardy Fish, and Jim Courier. 

 

“We are very pleased to have Sam join the K-Swiss family,” commented John Tobias, BEST Tennis President.  “It’s a company we are very familiar with and have done a couple of other deals with for top players Mardy Fish, Vera Zvonareva and Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko.  We feel this is a perfect fit for Sam, and he is very excited about this new partnership with K-Swiss.”

 

3. Is Novak leaving Adidas or not? Is he joining K-Swiss, Head, or perhaps … a certain Chinese brand?

passing thoughts after the jump

ZOMG! FREAK ACCIDENTS SOUND FREAKIER IN CAPS LOCK!

Okay, OUCH:

 

Sam Querrey needed surgery after badly cutting his right arm when he fell through a glass table in Bangkok.

The American world number 25, broke the table when he sat on it following a practice session at the Thailand Open.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said he is expected to be out of action for up to six weeks, effectively ending his season.

Source: BBC

 

Whose smart idea was it to make furniture out of glass? And what kind of sub-standard glass were they using that it just breaks through when someone sits on it?  Hang on, who the hell sits on a glass table? 

GEEEEZ Louise. Get well soon Samurai.

Picspam: FeVer! … In the morning. FeVer all through the night.

Fenando Verdasco has made up for his lackluster American hard court season by defeating US Open series winner/dud Sam Querrey in the final, 6-4 7-6.

Verdasco has developed a habit of choking lately (well, not just lately). After cruising through the first set and getting an early double-break in the second, Nando bizarrely lost momentum. The Samurai fought back to level the set and force a tiebreak. Querrey then led briefly in the tiebreak at 4-2, before a timely double fault and some tenacious play by Nando closed out the match in straight sets for him.

 

Nothing against Samurai, but seeing him win the US Open series gives me the same feeling I had when Safina ascended the No 1 throne – totally unimpressed. Querrey is 1-5 in finals this year. 

 

AP Photo/Bob Child

 

Equally unimpressed I was with Nando’s Federeresque mid-part, and try-hard “FeVer” monogram.

I do love his smile and his shiny teeth though…

 

AP Photo/Fred Beckham

 

What a lovely way to burn….

 

On the women’s side of things, Caroline Wozniacki became the first woman since Venus in 2002 to defend the women’s title in New Haven, defeating Elena Vesnina 6-2 6-4. It says nothing, however, about her actual chances at the Open.

CWoz possesses JJ-like consistency away from the slams, but inevitably always falls third or fouth round at a major to some other bright young thang with bigger weapons and more gusty play than her. That’s unlikely to change unless she develops more shots that resemble what one would call a ‘weapon’.

I’d love to see her make a semi at the Open though. She is the ultimate “bright young thing” after all.

 

Fever with thy flaming youth,

xx doots

Wrap-up Mosaics: the Many Expressions of Nikolay Dadyvenko

1) Here I was thinking that I’d rather sharpen pencils than have a conversation with Nikolay Davydenko, lo and behold, he proves to be mildly theatrical.

Normalcy in my tennis universe is now threatening to crash down on me.

 

 

Here’s the paradox with Koyla. Every time I watch him play, I am oh-so impressed with his dynamic game, his movement, how early he takes the ball – the guy’s enjoyable to watch. And I’ve resolved numerous times to pay more attention to his career.

But to no avail. I can’t for the life of me work out why I just don’t give a damn about him. Don’t hate him, don’t love him, just don’t care. He reminds me of that infamous SI cover of Lendl – “the Champion that nobody cares about”, only Davo’s no champion. He’s just a really good player. 

Well I’m happy that he won. Even happier to see his wife was there, now she excludes WAG excellence.

 

2) Oh yeah, the Stanford final. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

Aye. Denial was so sweet but it has to be said – the Hamster won. And you gotta give her credit for coming through all those tough three setters against players with bigger weapons or more experience. 

 

“It would be zero degrees outside and we’d sweep off the snow just to practice. People would say I wouldn’t be any good at tennis if I let my dad coach me. That was about the time Venus was just starting out and coached by her dad. She went to No. 1. That helped me develop mental toughness.”

 

Dr Walter Bartoli is well-known for being every bit as eccentric as his “doctor” title suggests. He strikes me as a bit of a mad scientist, and Marion his guinea pig, or hamster, whatever. Even his method of motivation seems rather risque. 

 

“He told me before the week there’s no way I would make the final. Today he said the only goal was to avoid losing 6-0, 6-1.”

Source: tennis.com

 

Umm, if my dad said that to me, he’d be getting no more Christmas cards from his daughter. 

 

3) You don’t want to look at mosaics of the Hamster, do you? How about some pictures of “the real doubles No 1s” – Venus/Rena – instead? 

They look so ridiculously sweet, it warms me to the cockles of my calcified heart.

Gnawwwww… squish, squish:

 

 

4) Over in Gstaad, Thomaz Bellucci joined the likes of Reeshie Gasquet to win “Le Rock“, beating Andreas Beck, 64 76(2).

I’ve only seen Bellucci play once – first round at Roland Garros last year against Rafa. It was actually a close match, by “close”, I meant that Rafael Nadal won in straight sets. But hey Bellucci won more games against Nadal that tournament than Fed did … not that I need to revisit that wound. 

So why do I care about a clay court tournament after the French Open? I don’t. As far as I’m concerned, tournaments on clay after June just shouldn’t exist.

But Bellucci’s kind of a cutiepatootie, isn’t he?

 

 

5) Some other people worthy of a mention this week:

  • Like Robin Soderling last week, Tommy Haas‘s winning streak against players not named Roger Federer was finally snapped by Querrey in LA. But it’s just nice to see that he’s followed up his recent successes with another decent run, instead of wandering off to the Land of Lost Souls again. Same goes for JCF
  • Third time’s the charmSam Querrey finally won a title after losing his last two finals. If I were American, I might care. Or I might feel equally uninspired. 
  • Not that I actually give a damn about Carsten Ball either. As an Aussie, I fully expect him to fade into anonymity again after a fluky run. Prove me wrong

 

6) LA for the girls, Washington for the guys this week. “Proper tennis” only gets better from here..

 

xx doots

 

Images via Dailylife and Getty Images