Google Down the Line!: 2009-06-28

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Letter to DtL readers: Fourth of July

Hey people,

Today is the Fourth of July holiday here in the U.S. so I won't be posting. Also, I'm going away for a bit but will be back on July 13.

Enjoy the rest of Wimby. Oh, and congrats ReRe on your third Championship and 11th major title!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Emotional A-Rod shocks Muzz, to face Fed in final (with Booty Bonus!)

Andy Roddick still has some surprises left - just ask Andy Murray.

The former top baller pulled the biggest upset of the tourney taking out the third seed and second fave for the title 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) avenging his third round defeat to the Brit in 2006. And even though Muzz cracked more winners (76-64) and hit more aces than A-Rod (25-21) his overall game was undone by his inability to get the first serve in play (52%).

The emotional American wasn't sure he'd ever get this far at a major again:

Q. You said when you came off the court that you weren't sure, it's been a little while since you thought you'd make a Grand Slam final. Did you ever really seriously doubt that you would be back here?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah, yeah. Last year after I played here, I mean, that was a hard, hard couple of weeks.

You know, Brook and I had a lot of talks on where I thought ‑‑ if I still thought I could play and at least be, you know, towards the top of the game. I definitely openly questioned it at that point. You know, then the rest of the year I was kind of hurt.

So this off‑season, we said, You know what, if you're not gonna be up there, let's at least not wonder. Let's prepare yourself and give yourself every opportunity.

You know, I did work real hard and, you know, was committed, and have been committed, you know, from everything to diet to sleep to everything. So, you know, I certainly gave myself every opportunity to succeed.

Q. Back to the conversation you had with your wife at the end of last year of whether you could play or not. What side did you take and what side did she take?

ANDY RODDICK: It was a year ago here. I was probably leaning towards not really playing that well. She didn't really know much about tennis, so she thought I was playing real great (laughter).

Q. And she convinced you?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, she thought I looked cute in the shorts.

HA - I concur. A-Rod, who fell to his knees after clinching the win, also took a moment after leaving the court:

Q. What happened to you on the stairs as you were leaving?

ANDY RODDICK: On the stairs? Oh, yeah. I think I just kind of wanted a moment maybe for myself. You know, as soon as you finish up a match like that, thanking the crowd and acknowledging the crowd, then you get shoved into this little room with a camera in your face and you get asked a bunch of questions.

I didn't know anybody saw that on the stairs. It was just kind of me taking a second to kind of try to make myself maybe believe that I was actually going to locker room having done that.

Q. Can you envision yourself lifting that trophy on Sunday as the winner here?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I've done that many times (laughter).

For Muzz's part, he's already looking forward towards his fave tourney, the U.S. Open:

Q. Will you be able to move on from this, or do you think, you know, I lost to a better guy on the day?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I'll move on very, very quickly and go and work on my game and improve and come back stronger. That's a pathetic attitude to have, if you lose one match and you go away and, you know, let it ruin your year.

You know, I've had a very good year so far. I'm very close to, you know, the top of the game. The US Open I've always said is my best surface, my best chance to win a slam, and I'll give it my best shot there.

Q. You've talked for years about your feeling for the US Open. Has to be more than just the surface. What do you like about that tournament?

ANDY MURRAY: I've liked it ever since I went there as a junior. I played there the first time I think when I was 15 or 16. I love New York. It's one of my favorite cities to go to. The atmosphere on the courts is great. I love the center court there. You know, it's pretty incredible to play there when the crowd's full.

That's it. I really, really like the atmosphere there.

Ah, yes. A tremendous win for A-Rod and an intelligent one to boot. He worked all the court angles and played Muzz's game better than the Brit did today. And, although he goes into the final as the overwhelming underdog against Roger Federer (who defeated HotHaas 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-3) you've got to give him a slight chance if he can thrown down those bombs another 75% of the time or more. Plus his backhand is MUCH improved and has uncorked it down-the-line with great effectiveness already this fortnight.

It will be the pair's third final meeting ('04, '05) at the All England Club with the previous two, of course, won by the Swiss.

BOOTY BONUS: Well, if they're gonna bend over this way then they're asking for it. Enjoy!

(image via getty)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Serena edges Elena in absolute thriller, to meet Venus in final


In a rematch of their semifinal in Oz, Serena Williams + Elena Dementieva met up in the Wimbledon semifinals and put on the best ladies' match of the YEAR and maybe the best match since Venus Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport to raise the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2005. A round of applause please! *clap, clap, clap, clap*

In an awe-inspiring display of Big Babe Tennis the pair traded blazing groundies and smacked huge serve after a serve in what could only be described as a high-quality slugfest to the finish. And in the end, ReRe edged out Elena 6-7 (4), 7-5, 8-6 saving a match point in the longest semifinal in Wimby history.

The second seed's superior serve (including 20 aces) saved her in key moments while, according to ReRe, her forehand took a "vacation" apparently:

Q. You seemed to be coming off your forehand the whole first set. You weren't hitting through it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that was for the whole match. My forehand didn't show up today. I think he went to Hawaii. (Laughter).

But I've called him and asked her, I should say, to come back for the final. Hopefully she'll be back.

Q. You did get it back occasionally.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Very occasionally. Maybe once or twice. I didn't hit my best today.

But, you know, it's always good to win when one of your stroke's on vacation.

The Russian found nothing but positives to take away from this match:

Q. Is it a match you thought on merit you should have won?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think it was a very close match, and I think we both were playing very well today. It was a good fight.

Actually, I feel very satisfied the way I was playing today. The only regret I have, maybe I should take a little bit more risk on match point, should go down the line.

But overall it was a good match.

Q. Do you think this is the best match ever you have played on grass?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Yeah, definitely, I think that was the best match on grass court. And that was the best match we ever played against each other. It was a real fight from the beginning till the end. You know, I just feel like, you know, finally I played some good tennis here.

Just, you know, was not easy to fight against her. She's a great champion. She was, you know, serving very well today. You know, I wasn't sure if it's Serena or Andy Roddick on the other side, 125 all the time. You know, it was a huge percentage of the first serve.

You know, even with that I was able to break her a couple of times and I was in the lead in the third set. Like I said, she's a fighter. Me, too. So was a good match.

Q. You spoke beautifully the other day on how people are surprised you work to improve your game. Is this kind of moment why you work? Do you still, in your heart, feel you can win a slam in addition to the gold medal?

ELENA DEMENTIEVA: Well, I think only by playing these kind of matches you can improve, you know, because this is the players that I want to beat, to win a Grand Slam. And, you know, you have this experience playing very close match against Serena, I think it's very positive.

So I'm gonna watch this match again. I'm gonna take some positive, you know, things from it and go forward.

Okay, I was seriously dying with each intense point in this tremendous match - it was like GREAT sex. Well, not really but still an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting thriller. Kudos to both lady ballers for giving us one to remember. 'Nuff said.

Wait, scratch that: V absolutely annihilated top seed Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0 in the other semi. Great effort to get to your first Wimby semi D but you need to step it up in these big matches or step out. You're embarrassing yourself out there.

Anyway, onto the second consecutive all-Williams final at Wimby and fourth overall. Shouldn't they just take residence at the All England Club at this point?

(images via getty)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PHOTO OP: Ice bath orgy revisited featuring special guest

Lucky us. Instead of the usual foursome (twice over) in Team Murray's ice bath orgy series, we now get five men-in-a-tub courtesy of a surprise guest appearance by none other than ROSS HUTCHINS!

But by the look of Andy's face, he's the one getting a big surprise. I wonder what it could be?

Oh Miles, do tell!

(image via

HotHaas stuns Nole, makes first Wimby semifinal (with Body Bonus!)

Tommy Haas made good this time against one of the big boys.

At the French Open last month, the German baller was up two sets and held a break point against eventual champ Roger Federer and caved in five. And today, HotHaas was up two sets on Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarters, lost the third but closed out an impressive 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 over the fourth seed.

After the big win he told the press,

You never know what’s around the corner for you if you keep believing and keep fighting. Who would have thought I’d be in the semifinals here at this stage of my career?

If you would have told me two years ago that ‘you can’t play him in the fourth round but you’ll be able to play him two years from now in the semifinals,’ I would have said, ‘Fine.’ It was a tough injury I had here, but life is crazy and this sport is crazy.

True enough HotHaas - congrats on the big win and making your very first Wimby semifinal at the tender age of 31. *cheers*

As for Nole, well, it's not the racquet switch or physical fitness this time. Quite simply: THEY'RE ONTO YOU. These ballers know your game inside and out, know what you do well (get every ball back) and won't you don't (no "kill" shot.) No one's surprised by anything you do on the court now.

My advice: You'd be wise to build your game and strategies around your backhand, especially your down-the-line shot. You're not using it effectively enough on the big points and your opponents are getting away with it. Just a thought.

BODY BONUS: HotHaas fans rejoice! Dayum abs. *drools*

(images via getty)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VIDEO VAULT: Take it down a notch USTA - you won't be forgotten (no worries)

Geez. The Wimbledon winners haven't even danced their dance at the annual Champion's Dinner yet and the USTA is already pimping out the 2009 Olympus US Open Series and the US Open with viral videos entitled "It Must Be Love". Slow down Tonto!

Defending champs Roger Federer + Serena Williams along with sister Venus, Dinara Safina, and Andy Roddick are all featured in their own spot blabbering about something or another including chocolate, BFF dogs, and Fed discussing - uh - Fed. I know, shocker.

But where's Nole's vid? Tennis' video vixen has the chops (and niplets) - you're missing out USTA.


(via USOPEN)

VIDEO VAULT: ReRe + Shrieka get crackin'

"I'm Serena Williams. I have 10 Slams. Yo' bitch ass only got three."

"I am Maria Sharapova. I am the highest paid athlete in the world. You're nothing but a 'hood ho from Compton."



I mean, I use some of my trophies for makeup brushes, so, you know, maybe I'll just take a step back and be like, Hmm. Take all the makeup brushes out and really appreciate every title and every trophy.

- Serena Williams after defeating Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-3 in the Wimbledon quarters today

I LOVE that it was the Indian Wells trophy too. You know what I also love? That we now know where she keeps her balls during play.

Cheeky ReRe.

(image via getty)

Monday, June 29, 2009

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Centre Court in a whole new light

I'm SO loving Centre Court all covered and lit up as it was for tonight's epic win by Andy Murray, who defeated Stanislas Wawrinka in a thrilling 5-setter full of high-quality tennis. The final score? 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and ended at 10:39 pm, the latest finish for any match ever at Wimbledon.

He'll play a rejuvenated Juan Carlos Ferrero for a spot in the final four.

You know I could really get into more night tennis at the All England Club and, by the looks of it, so could these lucky fans perched on Murray's Mound.

UPDATE: Here's Andy on the conditions inside Centre Court during the match via the BBC -

I was surprised because we'd asked 'when are you going to let us know if we're going to play under the roof or not?' and they'd said they'd let us know as soon as the match (before) was finished," said Murray.

While Wawrinka said he did not notice much difference between the indoor and outdoor conditions, Murray had a very different opinion.

"Conditions with the roof are very different to playing with it open," he said. "It's very, very heavy and I was sweating so much, I noticed it from the start.

"Both of us were trying to get white towels from the locker room because your hands were drenched. When I finished it was like I'd been in a bath, it was very, very humid.

"It slowed it down a lot and I struggled to serve because it wasn't coming off the strings that quickly. There were a lot more rallies and I got a lot less free points off my serve when it did go in.

"You can really swing very hard at the ball and it can go in the net, or doesn't really go anywhere."

Murray, who will play wildcard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarter-finals, added: "I like playing indoors and going into the next match I'll know what to expect if the roof comes on, but for two-and-a-half sets of the match I played great tennis, it's just that it took me a little while to get used to it."

(image via getty)

SIGHTING: Momma Mirka + Mango

Mirka Vavrinec and unborn Mango were spotted in the stands watching Roger Federer defeat Robin Soderling 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in a rematch of their Roland Garros final. The Swiss will next face dangerous Ivo Karlovic for a spot in another Grand Slam semifinal.

She is SERIOUSLY ready to burst at any moment. I'm thinking it'll be this coming weekend - at least they'll have a cup and a dish to help with the birth - and afterbirth.

(image via getty)

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: They won't be kissing and making up now

During Sabine Lisicki's 6-4, 6-4 upset of Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round of Wimbledon today, the two lady ballers re-enacted the infamous "Bumpgate" between Venus Williams and Irina Spirlea at the 1997 US Open.

Here's what the German had to say about the incident in question:

Q. Seemed to be an instant where you almost bumped at net at the changeover. What happened there?

SABINE LISICKI: You know, I don't know. We've been changing the sides all the time, you know, the whole match. I was always passing on the left side and she was passing on the right side. So, I don't know. She all of a sudden went to the side I was passing all the time, and we just bumped each other.

But, I mean, there's no big deal for me.

Q. You were a little bit unhappy. You had a quick word with the umpire.


Q. Yes.

SABINE LISICKI: No, it was her. She was discussing with him. I was just focusing for the next game.

Damn - Wozzi was NOT pleased by the incident. But I bet losing to Lisi for the second consecutive time in a big match must have felt a lot worse.

Plus they were wearing matching adidas outfits. I'd be pissed too.

UPDATE: "Move bitch...get out the way...get out the way" SO HYSTER. Thanks Uvijek!

(images via getty)

Only the pretty shall play...on Centre Court

"Good looks are a factor," says All England Club spokesperson Johnny Perkins.

That's FUCKED.

Thanks to sheisblessed for the link!

NaturAna retires mid-match with injury, leaves in pool of tears

Ana Ivanovic's Wimbledon campaign came crashing down in a pool of tears today after suffering a mid-match injury in her fourth rounder.

The Serb was down a set down to Venus Williams and serving at deuce when she felt a sharp pain in her inner thigh and called a trainer. She managed to hold serve after the treatment but then walked to the chair.

She was asked about it in her post-match presser:

Q. Did you have the problem in the first set?

ANA IVANOVIC: No, no, nothing. I didn't feel anything up until that point. Over past few days I felt muscle tightness, but that was, you know, normal after playing so much on the grass.

Just when I was serving 30‑40 down in that first game, and after my first serve when I landed I just felt a sharp pain on my inner thigh and I couldn't step on my leg ever since.

V was sympathetic towards the Serb's struggles today:

You know me. I only pay attention to what’s going on my side of the net – but today I felt really sad for her.

She was really upset. I think she was in a lot of pain. This is Wimbledon. It’s the last place you want to have an injury that you can’t overcome. So I’m wishing her a lot of luck in her recovery.

It happened in that last game. She’s tough and tried not to show it. But professional players are always in a little bit of pain of some sort. So you get used to the pain level but I guess it was something she couldn’t work through.

Ugh - another major setback for the former top lady baller. Clearly the Serbian Slump is in overdrive now with Jelena Jankovic struggling to find any form after getting knocked out by a "woman problem" named Melanie Oudin on Saturday.

What a difference a year can make in tennis. *sigh*

(images via getty)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Letter to DtL readers: Comments Section

Hey y'all,

I hope everyone's enjoying the day off today from Wimby action!

Just a reminder about the comments section: there have been some recent incidents of readers bashing other reader's comments and others going completely off-topic. I understand people are very passionate about certain subjects and won't agree or even like my opinions. In that case, feel free to direct your comments to me. If I can dish it out then I can certainly take it.

But let's not bash other readers for voicing their opinions or make it an opportunity for a venting session. I usually only delete spam or comments used for promotional purposes but I'll have to start deleting reader comments if this continues.



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