(image courtesy of nbawant2b)
- So why did Andy Murray really dump Brad Gilbert? This is London claims his large entourage is to blame - more specifically, the presence of Mamma Murray aka Judy. According to their report, "A brilliant coach in her own right who has come up with more active title-winning players in her own family than the combined efforts of the Lawn Tennis Association put together, [Judy] still very much directs the traffic. Nobody knows the parts of her son's expansive game, or his complex psyche, better than she does. Since Murray came back from injury she has been present at the bigger events, such as the U.S. Open, the Davis Cup and the Madrid and Paris Masters." We bet the very vocal Gilbert wasn't thrilled to take the coaching back seat to Mamma Murray. Another coaching guru, Nick Bollettieri, doesn't believe one coach is sufficient in today's complex game. He tells The Independent, "I could envisage a team of three: a physical trainer, someone to work on his technique and someone to motivate him," said Bollettieri. Are you sure that's enough coach? We need that many just to get to our desk job everyday.
- Insider information: Listen in as Roger Federer quizzes Bjorn Borg on how to win the French Open, John McEnroe about his greatest tennis regrets, and then takes the hotseat as Borg and McEnroe ask the World No. 1 questions in the next Blackrock Champions podcast on Tuesday, Nov. 20th. To subscribe, click here.
- Serbian showdown: Top-5 players Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic will compete in an exhibition match in their home country at the Belgrade Arena on December 7th. The event called NAJJ Srbije will also feature Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic.
- The Sisters Sledge, Venus & Serena, will play doubles at the Aussie Open in 2008. Okay tournament officials, all together now, "CHA-CHING!"
- Young gun: 11-year-old Teertha Iska, India's No. 3 tennis player in the under-12 category and disciple of guru Nick Bollettieri, received her first corporate sponsor. Ah, to be 11 and loaded - those were the days...
- Rumors of pregnancy are swirling around Bec Hewitt, wife of Aussie hot-head Lleyton Hewitt, after the former actress broke down in tears giving a speech during her first official gig as ambassador of the Children's Hospital Westmead. We see the connection, really.
- Psych out: Anna Chakvetadze likes to play mind games on the court - with herself. The Russian top-tenner says, "I studied psychology at university, although I've not yet finished. [...] It helps you prepare properly for the match and when I'm playing I try to think about the next point and not the last one. I also make a point of fighting all the time as it puts pressure on your opponent when they see you don't want to give them any free points."
- Should Israeli players compete in Muslim countries? ESPN.com's Bonnie D. Ford investigates.