Archive for September, 2006

Federer slams Djokovic for faking injuries

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

The best of Tennis Magazine’s 10 Davis Cup questions includes the item below. They also have a silly photo of a “kiss” between Russian male players that looks a tad bit passionate - follow the link at the end of the article quote for a quick laugh.

Roger, were you Djoking? Apparently not. When asked about Djokovic appearing injured during their Davis Cup playoff match on Sunday, Federer said, “I don’t trust his injuries, you know.” He then brushed aside the ensuing laughter. “I’m serious. I think he’s a joke, you know, when it comes down to his injuries. The rules are there to be used, not abused. He’s been doing it many times, that’s why I wasn’t happy to see him doing that and running around like a rabbit again. It was a good handshake. I was happy to beat him.” Tennis Magazine

Wow. Feds sure sounds annoyed!

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Hewitt loved or hated in Argentina?

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

There were an unusually large number of articles about how Hewitt and Team Australia got a warm welcome in Argentina over the past week - so many that I became a little suspicious. Check out these two articles I found.

Hewitt, who had fretted over being as welcome here as George W Bush in the Tora Bora caves, had earlier hit tennis balls into the stands to the delight of children and signed autographs and, now, suddenly, he was being feted like a rock star amid chaotic scenes. Australian

That was what most of the media was reporting.

Australian fans traded insults with Maradona, who was seen taunting Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis during the opening singles rubbers.

At least one spectator was ejected from a heaving Parque Roca stadium as Hewitt was taken to the brink of defeat by Jose Acasuso, trailing 4-0 in the fifth set.

Philippoussis was enraged by the raucous, unsporting crowd as he lost to David Nalbandian in straight sets, while Hewitt was repeatedly abused.

One of Tennis Australia’s private bodyguards confronted a male spectator after the man was seen spitting on Hewitt from the front row. Daily Telegraph

Now I don’t know who to believe.

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ESPN gives us reasons to stay tuned to tennis

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Really, the reasons to keep watching tennis through the closing months of the season aren’t as good as I had hoped, but there are some interesting bits to follow nonetheless. The article mentions that Federer is poised to make yet another amazing season out of 2006. It seems as though injury could be the only thing to stop him, and I wouldn’t count on that because he is one of the consistently healthy top 10 players on the tour now. Also, Hingis is mentioned because she continues to do well (winning in Calcutta/Kolkotta, and pushing for another title this week). However, I think the more interesting reasons include this one:

Fruit no longer forbidden?: The WTA announced last weekend that it will conduct further experiments with in-match coaching at three European tournaments this fall. Consultations will be permitted between sets and during medical timeouts and bathroom breaks. (The latter could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “potty training.”) We plan to fully report the story as it unfolds, but for now, can we just say that this seems like odd timing? Several top players have been under fire this season for taking seemingly strategically unspontaneous breaks. Matches certainly don’t need any more distracting or potentially delaying tactics, and Banana-Gate took some luster away from Maria Sharapova’s U.S. Open win.

Seriously, if Sharapova can’t eat and drink without prompting, she needs this. However, she has pointed out that she thinks on-court coaching is a bit ridiculous and that she wouldn’t use it. I expect the daughter-daddy antics to continue. And honestly, what was up with the USTA saying that the banana and drink incident wasn’t an example of coaching? As I understand the rules, it was clearly a violation. Note how none of the former players doing commentating thought it was anything but coaching! Oh well, time to move on…

I also agree with this reason to keep following the season to its close:

Shy but not retiring?: Lindsay Davenport said she’d know by mid-November whether she’ll call it quits or devote herself to preparing for the Australian Open. She’s had decent results since her return in August, but Davenport made it clear at the U.S. Open that it won’t be so much about W’s and L’s as how she feels when she goes out to practice every day. Expect a low-key announcement either way.

I think she could pull off another season, but maybe she won’t want to push her luck with her injuries (the way Agassi may have).

For more reasons to stay tuned, check out the ESPN article here. They don’t mention the Roddick-Sharapova romance, but surely that is on everyone’s mind also.


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Australia investigated for possible Davis Cup fine

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

This article really doesn’t explain clearly what the rules are, how Australia failed to follow the rules, and what the standard investigation/punishment procedure is in such a scenario. I’m going to watch for further news on this topic, especially if an investigation is launched.

To me, it sounds like a waste of time - they had already lost - isn’t that punishment enough? But again, I don’t know the rules.

Australia could be in trouble for failing to field appropriate players in their two dead Davis Cup semi-final singles rubbers against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
Australia trailed 3-0 after losing the doubles and Tennis Australia said Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis and Wayne Arthurs were all carrying injuries.
Doubles player Paul Hanley lost 6-0 6-3 to Agustin Calleri in the first singles on Sunday and the referee awarded a walkover in the fifth rubber to give Argentina a 5-0 win in the tie.
Peter Luczak, with the Australia team as a hitting partner, then beat Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6 6-4 in an exhibition match.
Tennis Australia is likely to launch an investigation and the International Tennis Federation could ask for an explanation and potentially hand out a fine. Guardian



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Moya: Sampras is better than Federer

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Carlos Moya:

But for him, Sampras was and always will remain the best. “He was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league,” Moya says. DNAindia.com

I’ll just assume that something was lost in translation here - maybe he was arguing about Sampras being great in many ways outside of just play and titles? Even Sampras hints around that Federer now is a better player than he was. I don’t disagree about Nadal, as Nadal is young and has a way to go before he has as much success as Feds or Pete - I’ll admit that I am on the Nadal bandwagon and want to see him do really well in the future.

I’d absolutely love to see Sampras and Moya sit down and argue on who the best player is/was - Pete can argue for Feds, and Moya can argue for Pete. :)



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Mesh Tennis - VA Beach style

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

I was on a trip in Virginia this past week, and basically drove all across the state forming a triangle between Northern Virginia, Blacksburg, and Virginia Beach. It was there in Virginia Beach that Shaun helped me organize the first Mesh Tennis meetup since there are a lot of active Mesh Tennis users there (you can view these players here in the Virginia Beach Tennis Players group).

All I have to say it was awesome. It was great to meet everyone, hit around, get some good feedback about the site, and just get to know you all a little better. It was even cooler to see everyone, all at different playing abilities, mixing and matching their hitting partners, and just having fun. Marc, thanks for bringing the radar gun! I’m definitely going to find one off eBay for future events ;)

Here are some pictures from the event:

Some of you mentioned that you wanted to buy the Mesh Tennis T-Shirts! Well I made a quick online way for you to get them.

Mesh Tennis on CafePress

There’s a regular T-shirt and a sleeveless. They use the same logo as my shirt on Saturday (but it has to be smaller on the sleeveless apparently). Grab these originals!

Mirza dismisses the importance of fitness

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Admitting that fitness was not her forte, Indian ace Sania Mirza said she will continue to make up for that by playing aggressive shots.
“Fitness is not my forte. I cannot be as fit as say (Martina) Hingis or (Elena) Dementieva. Yes, I am going to be more patient. But I have to go for shots, I’ll get some, I’ll miss some,” Sania told newspersons minutes after scripting a convincing straight-set win over Rushmi Chakravarthi in the opening round of the Sunfeast Open. Hindustan Times

Sania Mirza must be crazy - and maybe it is from the unending coverage her career gets in the Indian press. If I were her coach, I would quit after hearing this - fitness isn’t solely about who you are , it is something that you need to work at, as I am sure Dementieva and Hingis do. I’m also sure some people find it easier to get in and stay in shape than others, but that’s no reason to write off being as fit as top players because it isn’t your “forte”. I fully expect her ranking to stay right where it is if she doesn’t put in some more work on something she apparently knows is a weakness.

And, of course, you can surely make up for fitness by playing aggressive shots. Ask Serena Williams about that.

Do the men say things like this?


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US Davis Cup team bailed out by the Bryans

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Bob and Mike Bryan kept U.S. hopes alive with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Dmitry Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny in Saturday’s semifinal. The win leaves the Americans trailing 2-1. News Daily

Haven’t we seen this before? James Blake and Andy Roddick both fall apart, and the US team ends up having the doubles match as the only win prior to the final two games?

The article mentions also that Roddick is expecting to not face Youznhy in his final match - which sure would be a let down after all of that Argentina-style trash talk Youzhny laid down on Roddick post-US Open.

I think the Russian team has this one in the bag - Blake just doesn’t have the confidence to pull off his match if it comes down to him, and I just don’t feel like Roddick will fight enough to win against whoever he plays.


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Ever try meditation to improve your game?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

I’ve tried using meditation in general to get the ability to better focus on tasks, but this recent tennis.com article got me thinking - have any of you specifically used meditation for tennis? Or would you be willing to try it? What challenges have you encountered?

Hands down, the biggest challenges for me involve finding a place to meditate comfortably, and to keep my focus.

“Meditation is essentially about being in the moment,” says Jim Loehr, Ed.D., author of The Power of Full Engagement (Free Press, 2004) and a performance psychologist who has worked with dozens of elite tennis players, including Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Here are two of the simple meditation exercises he recommends for his athlete clients.

1. Lying in bed, take a deep breath and extend the exhalation for as long as you can. On the exhalation say, “One,” in your head and visualize the number one. On the next exhale, say and visualize “two,” and so on. “You may get to 40 or 65 and then get distracted, so you have to start again,” says Loehr, “but the whole point is just to learn what it is to be totally removed from distractions.” It’s a skill, he says, that will help you on the tennis court, and when you play other sports, but also in life.

2. Inhale to a count of four, pause briefly, then exhale on a count of four. “You become one with your breathing,” Loehr says, “you get into a rhythm that just takes over.” What you learn is how it feels to be totally engaged in one thing: breathing. Tennis.com

Hingis visits Mother Teresa charity house

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

It is good to see players out doing some other things while they play tournaments. Hingis won her first match in India yesterday.

From the competitive tennis court to the soulful company of the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, it was a morning well spent for Martina Hingis, who visited Mother House Tuesday.

A favourite of all the visitors to the city, Mother Teresa’s house was also the destination for the visitor from Switzerland as she spent about an hour at the Missionaries of Charity.

She also went to Sishu Bhawan to interact with the nuns and the orphaned inmates.

Hingis was accompanied by her mother Melany, two other players of Sunfeast Open, Swetha Bhupathi of Globosports and a few ITC officials.

“This is the place Hingis always wanted to visit and felt at peace with herself after visiting it,” Swetha said. Telugu Portal



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