Google Down the Line!: + THURSDAY NETCORDS: Andy, Lleyton, James vs. Serena, Pete vs. Steffi...Team Andy criticized, Puma plays tennis and more

Thursday, December 6, 2007

+ THURSDAY NETCORDS: Andy, Lleyton, James vs. Serena, Pete vs. Steffi...Team Andy criticized, Puma plays tennis and more

- Bargain basement: Dipping their toe into the tennis conversation that is equal pay for women, Sportingo asks: in their prime, who was the better bargain for tournament organizers: Steffi Graf or Pete Sampras? "Consider the following: Pete Sampras finished his career with 14 Grand Slams and Steffi Graf, his contemporary, with 22. She also has 107 titles to her name, 43 more than Sampras. Yet Sampras finished with double the prize money of Graf. The reason is simple; men get higher prize money than women. The question, however, is why?"

- James Blake and Serena Williams will headline the 5th annual Anthem LIVE! in Norfolk, Virginia, which supports cancer research. Mardy Fish and Tatiana Golovin will also be on hand to support the cause.

- The Brits are split on Andy Murray's decision to choose a team over a single coach to help build his career. The recently retired Tim Henman told The Herald, "Andy's made a decision he wants to go in a different direction, and, as your own boss, that's your prerogative. He's now going to assemble the people around him and hopefully move forward from there."

Fellow retiree Greg Rusedski, however, isn't so keen on the 20-year old's decision saying, "You need to have one coach leading the whole situation, like there was Gilbert before, [...] "It will be interesting to see who will be the main person in his camp because with all these personalities someone's got to put a programme together, whether it's a physical trainer, the mental side, and there has to be someone who oversees all those things, [...] I was a little surprised with the team of advisors route he went down, I thought he'd hire another top coach."

The Brits aren't the only ones with an opinion about Andy's decision, though. Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich, backing Rusedski's position, thinks this decision might be based on something other than tennis saying, " someone who still needs to develop both his game and as a person I think it might not be helpful for Andy to have a big entourage. [...] I think it can be dangerous having a big entourage, but Andy has to find out himself. [...] He shouldn't start feeling too special about the fact that he might be able to hire five or six people, who cost a lot of money."

- Martina keeps moving: The legendary Martina Navratilova has signed on to be the new Health & Fitness Ambassador for AARP, the world’s largest advocacy organization for people over age 50, showing all of us that age is really just a number.

- Lleyton in waiting: Aussie hot-head Lleyton Hewitt is preparing for his full assault on his country's Grand Slam with a rigorous training regimen with coach Tony Roche. The former World No. 1 told Adelaide Now, "I'm hitting every day with Rochey for three hours, [...] I'd be spending about the same time in the gym each day. [...] By the time the Australian Open comes around, I'd be fitter than I ever have been going into it." Lleyton believes this could give him the edge he needs over the top players, including Roger Federer, saying "I'm going to be a lot fresher than Federer, [...] Even when you look at (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafael) Nadal ... (Nikolai) Davydenko were getting tired at the Masters Cup so I'm going to be a lot fresher than those guys but I've just got to try and get some matches under my belt."

- Shopping for a tennis fashionista this holiday season? Puma has just released the Lydia Holiday Tennis Bag in black-dazzling blue, made from eco-friendly materials and featuring a pocket for your 'racquet' - though this is more fashion than function, of course.

- Getting to know Davis Cup champion Andy Roddick. Most revealing moment: "Favorite TV Shows: 'Lost. My Name Is Earl. I love My Name Is Earl. Don't know if it's because I get the trailer park humor since my parents lived in one before they got married, but I think the show is hilarious.'"

- Sentimental for Seles: The Daily Forehand runs down their list of Monica Seles' top-5 clashes. No. 1? The classic battle between Seles and Graf in the 1992 French Open final.

- Mats Wilander, who recently worked with Tatiana Golovin before parting ways with the Frenchwoman has signed on to co-coach another Frenchie: headcase Paul-Henri Mathieu

(images via TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images,

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