Just a quick note: I'm taking a much needed vacation starting today and continuing all of next week. However, I'll be following all the tennis action and sending updates via Twitter - along with some personal anecdotes during my trip.
So if you're not following DtL yet, click here. It's live and commercial free!
(image via abcteach.com)
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
- Ballers get their party on in Beijing
- AskMen.com just released their Top 49 most influential men of 2009 with Andy Roddick rolling in at No. 35 and Roger Federer cracking the Top 10 at No.8.
- Get your Spanish chorizo fix courtesy of the ATP World Tour:
Here's the official TV commercial for the 2010 Australian Open starring Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Serena Williams and Sam Stosur. And they're splish-splashing blue paint.
Speaking of choice words, Caroline Wozniacki had some of her own for the WTA and tourney director of Beijing.
The US Open finalist caught a virus while in Tokyo and had to retire from her opening round match against Aleksandra Wozniak on Tuesday, September 29th. However, she was scheduled to play her first round match in Beijing on the following Sunday, October 4th, but requested a Monday start with hopes getting more rest.
Wozzi discussed what happened in her latest blog:
In Beijing, I still was not feeling close to 100%, so I asked the tournament director and WTA for a Monday start (instead of playing my first round on Sunday), but it was very frustrating to learn on Saturday that I was scheduled to play my first match on Sunday. I really needed every hour of rest to get over this virus and ready for my first match, but the WTA or tournament director did not seem to care at all and take this into consideration. The WTA Tour is supposed to be a players union, but I certainly don’t think they represented my best interest this week in Beijing and it was very disappointing. In my first round, I ended up playing Maria Jose Martinez-Sanchez, and I played a good first set which I won close 7-5. In the second set, it was really close again but I lost it in a tiebreaker and then in the third set I just completely ran out of energy and ended up losing the match.I'm actually very surprised the WTA and the tourney directors didn't give her an extra day considering she's a Top Tenner and just reached the US Open final. Plus, Wozzi doesn't consistently abuse rules (like some lady ballers we know.)
Losing my first round in is Beijing was exactly what I was worried about since I have not practiced for more than one hour in the past week. I was hopeful that if th WTA were to give me a first round start on Monday that I could’ve had a much better chance of winning and feeling better as I were to advance through the tournament. I am never one to make excuses because Martinez-Sanchez did play a good match, but I really feel the WTA and tournament director could’ve helped me and they chose not to.
I understand there are matches to be played and scheduling to be completed but it seems they were being too rigid in this situation.
VERDICT: I find the WTA/Beijing "guilty" of being lame. I mean, HELLO, Wozzi rocks.
Maria Sharapova had a hot mic moment during her epic 3-hour plus win against Victoria Azarenka in Beijing.
Vika requested a second medical timeout for an apparent leg issue so the ref walked over to Shrieka and advised her about the extra time. Let's just say she had a few choice words about the situation - and they didn't involve the Belarussian.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Jelena Jankovic still seems to be bothered by the arm injury which forced her to retire from the Tokyo final last week against Maria Sharapova.
The defending champ played well at the outset during her first round match in Beijing, and even served for the match in the second, but couldn't sustain her level of play and succumbed to homegirl Shuai Peng 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Ugh.
JJ also debuted this new ANTA number and FINALLY sent the red version of the pinata dress to pasture (let's hope there's no returnament in that thing's future tennis career, k?) It looks like something she could've worn during a US Open night match with the deep purple coloring, gathering along the chest, shiny embellishments on the waist + skirt, and a pleated second-tier underneath. And let's face it, anything would look great after THAT other one.
Too bad we won't see it anymore...at least this week.
Juan Martin del Potro + Andy Roddick both played their first matches since the US Open and both lost, though one of the losses is more worrisome than the other.
The current US Open champ, who was suffering from some jet lag and an upset stomach, was shocked by 189th-ranked Frenchie qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-4 in Tokyo. A-Rod, who won at Flushing Meadows back in 2003, suffered his second consecutive loss since being upset in the third round of the year's final Slam falling to the 143rd-ranked Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-2, 6-4. He also missed out on a chance to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
It's not surprising to see Delpo struggle after winning his maiden major. There's an emotional element to overcome here (not to mention the endless celebrating no doubt) more than physical so it'll probably take some time for his game to reemerge. But it will.
A-Rod's loss, however, provided more proof that the Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer over the summer is lingering. He had plenty of time to prepare for the Asian swing but it seems only time will heal the wounds from that missed opportunity. How long is anybody's guess.
So I guess some of the early-losing top lady ballers can gain some comfort now, no?
(Photo: Getty, Reuters)
Rafael Nadal played his first match since his semifinal defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open and his recovery from an abdominal injury.
The 6-time Grand Slammer was pushed by Marcos Baghdatis in Beijing but eventually prevailed taking out the Cypriot 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round. He'll face James Blake next and will try to close the gap in the H2H which currently sits at 2-3 in favor of the American baller.
Rafa also debuted some new colorways of the Nike duds he's been wearing recently but they've also been renamed for the season. He's working the Nike Winter Bold Master Polo ($60) in green spark with black + white paired with Nike Woven Winter Woven Long Short ($55) in dark obsidian navy with white + green spark.
I'm liking the bright green spark choice but it's certainly not a color everyone could get away with wearing (unless your a bronzed, primal tennis gawd.) Those of you with yellow undertones in your skin should run far, FAR away unless you'd like to look like, uh, death.
The shorts aren't really doing anything for me, though the boldness of the style is fitting for Rafa. The design doesn't really match up - it looks messy and patched together. I much prefer the older style especially from his championship run in Oz which featured a subtle, clean window pane effect.
So much bettah.
(Photos: Getty, TennisWarehouse.com)
Meet your almost naked but very shiny world no.1.
Serena Williams reclaimed the keys to the WTA Penthouse after defeating Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 in the Beijing second round. Dinara Safina paved the way for the 11-time Grand Slammer to move back in when she was stunned by Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai.
This isn't the first time ReRe has been in the buff for a mag, having gone nude for Jane magazine back in 2007.
I guess everyone (including myself) can now shut their traps about who should be the top lady baller. The deed is done. Phew.
The ESPN the Magazine "The Body Issue" hits stands on October 19.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Team Williams found all kinds of ways of distracting themselves during Venus' 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round of Beijing. It was her second consecutive loss to the Russian teen after falling to Pavlov in Tokyo last week.
Let's see if you can match the following reactions to the correct member of Team Williams:
1) These shoes are just WRONG. Never get dressed in the dark.
2) 'dw' will look awesome on t-shirts, jeans, even pillows. RF has nothing on me. LMAO"
4) Im bored. Wat r u all doing?????????
On a side note: I didn't think it was possible but Dinara Safina lost to someone ranked LOWER than the 132nd ranked Chang Kai-Chen who defeated her in Tokyo last week. The honors this time go to 226th-ranked Chinese wild card Zhang Shuai who grabbed a 7-5, 7-6(5) upset, and could cause Dinara to lose the WTA Penthouse keys if ReRe defeats Ekaterina Makarova in her next match. For some reason I'm thinking Dinara would like nothing better than to have that ranking taken away - along with her coach too.
UPDATE: WTA just confirmed the Russian's loss to Zhang as the worst lost EVAH by a reigning WTA Penthouse resident in terms of ranking. She bested Ana Ivanovic's shock exit at the hands of Julie Coin, who was then ranked 188th, at last year's US Open. Uh, me thinks it's probably not the kind of history Dinara was hoping to make.
UPDATE #2: You can peep a preview of ReRe's almost-nude-but-not-quite ESPN The Magazine cover for "The Body Issue" here which hits stands October 19.