Google Down the Line!: 2009-08-16

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Fab Four ready to rock Cincinnati - can you stand it?!

Flushing Meadow foreshadowing perhaps?

The Fab Four take the big stage today in the Cincinnati semifinals today with Roger Federer trying to snap a four match losing streak to Andy Murray while Novak Djokovic attempts to stop his own run of 5 consecutive defeats to Rafael Nadal, who looks to be pain free and rounding into form after his 10 week injury lay off. It's the first time the four top ballers in the world have all made the semifinal round at the same tourney since Monte Carlo last season.

These mouth-watering match ups should give us a solid idea of where each of their games stand with the US Open a little over a week away.

But, sorry no predictions here peeps. I'm just ready to enjoy some sick tennis and I hope you are too!

Click here for live streaming of today's match and here for ESPN2's TV coverage. NOTE: Fed v. Muzz will be shown live while Rafa v. Nole will be tape delayed. Whatevs.

(image via

Friday, August 21, 2009

PHOTO OP: WTA Hall of Shame grows

Uh-oh. It seems hiding your face in shame is becoming a nasty trend on the WTA tour these days.

This latest inductee won four straight games in the second set of her third round battle before the wheels came off, eventually succumbing 6-2, 7-6 (3) to her still very rusty compatriot at the Rogers Cup last night.

I won't embarrass this mystery lady baller by revealing her true identity. I mean, I'm sure she feels badly enough after losing that big lead.

Better luck next time girl.

(image via ap)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(UPDATED) PHOTO OP: Now that's more like it

"Can the court just open up and swallow me whole right now?"

Now it makes sense: Dinara Safina was waiting until Toronto to hide her face in shame.

The world's top lady baller and defending champ was stunned (as we were) by Frenchie Aravane Rezai 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the tourney's second round (her opening round match) after cracking 17 double faults. Yes, that's right - 17 DF's for a World No. 1. Embarrah.

Now Dinara doesn't have a shoulder injury that we know of so there goes that excuse - right Shrieka? I'm guessing all the pressure of defending the huge amount of points she accumulated last summer has gotten to her noggin. Her toss is way too high and you can actually see her thinking about her serve while serving as well. The kiss of death I say.

In fact, coach Zeljko Krajan was so moved by his charge's performance that he moved himself right out of the baller box. Well, at least he wasn't able to berate her during their friendly and relaxed on-court coaching moments.

There goes our entertainment. Boo hoo.

UPDATE: An explanation for the loss straight from the horse's mouth -

"It's so much. Ball toss disaster. I don't move my legs. I'm jumping backwards instead of jumping forwards. I'm kicking it too much instead of hitting it more. I drop my head. I don't hold the left arm.

I know this all, and I'm still so stupid that I'm continuing to do it.

It's my brain. I know exactly what I have to do, but if I'm not using my brain, I'm not doing the things my coach is telling me. Too disappointed with myself."

I think you're using your brain too much and not just playing the game you KNOW how to play.

(image via ap)

PHOTO OP: Brooklyn (almost) bares it all for GQ magazine

Andy Roddick's swimsuit-wearing WAG Brooklyn Decker is featured in the September 2009 of GQ and shows off some of her best, eh, wares.

She also discusses her tennis balling husband and how he admitted his stalking nature:

While Decker has no trouble attracting her own attention—she’s the star of four straight Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and an upcoming show hosted by Dan Patrick—the man behind the A is husband Andy Roddick. Spotting Decker in the stands looking like the picture of all-American cool has become half the reason to watch Grand Slam tennis and yet another reason to root for the tireless if sometimes overshadowed Roddick: More Andy means more Brooklyn. This month the former high school cheerleader and class president will be riding the No. 7 train to Queens from the couple’s Manhattan apartment for the U.S. Open, where the red-hot Roddick will be gunning for a post-Wimbledon rematch against Roger Federer—and Brooklyn will get plenty of screen time.

Decker exudes supernatural supermodel poise, but there’s one topic that rattles even her: She met her husband when his agent called hers to arrange a date. “That happens all the time to girls,” Decker says, blushing a little, “but his was the one number I kept.” For their first get-together, Roddick took her to dinner, then an Upright Citizens Brigade comedy show. “He was the first to admit that he kind of stalked me,” Decker says. “But his line was ‘It’s only stalking if the other person doesn’t like it.’ ”
I guess that might be true - stalking is all in the eye of the stalkee. Plus, I'm sure A-Rod was attracted to her lovely "personalities."

But, could Brooklyn be the hawtest tennis WAG at the moment? After this shoot, I might have to say YES. You may disagree with me here, but I think we can all agree on who's the worst. Color me still stunned.

(images via

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

VIDEO VAULT: NaturAna grabs top ten scalp on streets of Toronto (finally)

Ana Ivanovic + Caroline Wozniacki took part in a promo at the intersection of Dundas/Yonge in Toronto for the Rogers Cup and played a friendly set to seven. The Serb grabbed her biggest win in months when she defeated current top tenner Wozzi 7-3. Why can't NaturAna find the killer instinct when it matters? Oy.

Anyway, Brodie over at Mind the Racket was there live in person and had his own take on the action. Check it out here!

(video via Women's Tennis Blog courtesy of SEWTA)

THE LOW DOWN: Marat may be the marrying kind

Rumor has it in Tweetland that Marat "SexGawd" Safin is reportedly marrying bleach-blond girlfriend Nastya Osipova of Russian pop group Blestyachie according to Russian media.

I wrote about their huggy + kissy movie moment back in the day and it seems they've continued to build up steam.

So not only is he leaving us at the end of this season but he's also getting hitched to a wannabe porn star. What's next? Rafisca get pregnant, married, and then give birth to twin mangoes??!

Life is CRUEL.

(via GVTennisNews, Bob Larson's Tennis News Ticker)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nole makes the cut, featured on BryanBros new record (oh joy)

No, you don't need to get your eyes check.

Remember the rumor Novak Djokovic + Ivo Karlovic were going to cut a rap record together?

Well it looks like the Bryan Brothers actually LIKED the idea and scooped up the aspiring rapper/singer/stripper for their newest song Autograph. And they recorded some of the studio session for our viewing pleasure - or comedy relief.

But I can't decide if the BryanBros are laughing with him or at him. I know which one I'm doing. Heh.


(image via bryanbros twitter)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Rafa on rankings

I’m very happy today, more than yesterday. No. 3 is a very good number too.

- Rafael Nadal on dropping to the third spot in the ATP World Tour rankings today

I know Rafa likes to take these things in stride and play down rankings and such, but is he being genuine here when he says he's "happy today, more than yesterday"?

(image via getty)

PHOTO OP: Safin the ultimate SexGawd

If only I could take this image of Marat Safin glistening in all his glory after a practice session in Cincinnati and blow it up to LIFESIZE my days would be complete.

OMG - I can't stop shuddering at that thought. Don't leave us!

*drowns in drool*

(image via rorymiller4/flickr)

VANtage Point: See ya in Cincinnati!

So, what did I miss?

Hey DtL readers, it’s the return of VANtage Point! Sorry I’ve been away so long, but the past few months have been kind of hectic with tendinitis in the knees forcing me to take some time off. Then my wife gave birth to twins and … well, let’s just say I’ve been busy, but now I’m back. And if you aren’t familiar with VP, here’s the scoop:

Each week, I look at one of the tournaments on the ATP and WTA tours, then give my predictions from the semifinals on, as well as look at some of the players I think will make a big move during the week.

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s VANtage Point!

A Look Back: So much has happened since the last edition of the Point, and to recap all that would take up a lot of precious Internet space, so I’ll spare you. Last week was pretty big, though, with the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal stranglehold on the top two spots being broken by Andy Murray, who went on to win the ATP 1000 tournament in Montreal. Jelena Jankovic came away with a big title, too, picking up the crown in Cincinnati over Dinara Safina. Jankovic looked really good, I thought, in those last two matches and could be poised to challenge for the top spot by the end of the year.

This Week’s Spotlight: Since Cincy was such a hotbed of activity last week, why not keep it going by looking at what the men will be doing there? The ATP World Tour makes its annual visit to the Midwest with the ATP 1000 Cincinnati stop. All your favorite top tenners are there, led by Federer, Nadal, Murray and the gang. It’s a tough tournament for the second week in a row for the guys, but I guess you couldn’t ask for a better tuneup stretch heading into the last Slam of the year, the U.S. Open.

Players to Watch: There are three players I’m really going to have my eyes on this week. First is the top dog, Federer. Is he ready to get back on a roll again? I think he’ll do fine here. Then second, it’s Nadal. Last week, he managed to get in a few matches to work the rust out. I’m not too sure about how successful he’ll be here with a tough draw. And lastly, the other player I’m interested in seeing how he makes out is Juan Martin del Potro. He’s been playing lights out the last couple of weeks, but it look liked he show some signs of fatigue against Murray in the Montreal final. Those two are on track for a rematch in the quarters here.

The Final Four: In the top half of the draw, I’m expecting it to come down to Federer and Murray, with the Scot winning that matchup. On the other side, I’m picking Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (who I think will beat Nadal in the quarters) over Novak Djokovic.

And the Winner Is: Murray’s making it a habit of winning ATP 1000 events, and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t continue. It’ll be a tough final, but he has the game to handle big hitters like Jo-Willy. That’s my call and I’m sticking to it. Check back next week to see how I made out!

Van Sias writes the blog Tennis Talk, Anyone?

(image via getty)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

PHOTO OP: Now who should REALLY be hiding their face?

"I just got blitzed and I still haven't taken a breath yet."

Jelena Jankovic's game may finally be getting back on track this season. *fingers crossed*

Even after a grueling semifinal bout against Elena Dementieva last night that saw her save four match points and get bageled in the second set, the Serb still upended top seed Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2 to grab the title in Cincinnati. JJ played solid from the backcourt, and despite a classic dramatic pause (read: call for the trainer) she managed to earn her second title this season (Marbella). Interesting Fact Alert: it was JJ's first win over a reigning World No.1 evah.

As for Dinara, it was another tense, error-strewn performance by the Russian. The girl really needs to learn to relax and enjoy these match moments. Or at least fake it 'til she makes it. Something. Please.

(image via getty)

SIGHTING: Fly-away Shrieka co-hosts TAG Heuer event in Toronto

Maria Sharapova and her fly-away hair were spotted at sponsor TAG Heuer's cocktail reception at the Royal De Versailles Jewellers in Toronto where the 22-year old had co-hosting duties.

Shrieka is entered into the Rogers Cup draw which begins next week and will face compatriot Nadia Petrova in the first round. I'd say the draw gawds weren't kind to the 3-time Grand Slammer but she handled Nads pretty easily (read: 6-1, 6-2 beatdown) during their last meetup in Stanford.

Thanks Nirili!

(images via

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