Thursday, April 29, 2010
The pugilist, the subtlist and their matching Blackberry's were spotted taking in a Champions League football match between Tribuna Roma and Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The pair are still on a collision course to meet in the Rome Masters final on Sunday.
Rafole sure looks like they're enjoying themselves especially Rafa who's all smiles and gaping pie hole. As for Nole, I think he forgot he was at a football match and not competing. Silly boys.
[Via: TennisConnected.com, Photo(s): Zuma Press]
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Rafael Nadal continued to show the dominant form he displayed in winning Monte Carlo crushing Philipp Kohlshreiber 6-1, 6-3 in his opening match in Rome today. All in all the defending champ has lost 18 total games in the six consecutive matches he's won to date. That's straight up SICK y'all.
Rafa looks like a uber-confident prize fighter in this photo, ready to take down all pretenders in his court. Now all we need is the shirt to be off and the high beams to be on full display. That's PERFECTION.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Like a lioness protecting her cub Snezana Jankovic, who is mama to former top lady baller Jelena Jankovic of course, tore compatriot Ana Ivanovic, the Serbian Tennis Federation and politicians a new one after their country's FED CUP loss to Slovakia last weekend.
They were defeated 2-3 with JJ breaking even in her singles rubbers but losing the deciding doubles rubber with partner Bojana Jovanovski. BoJo also broke even losing her first singles rubber to Daniela Hantuchova but beating Magdalena Rybarikova in the second.
Snezana was not at all pleased to see images of NaturAna relaxing in Majorca, Spain with boyfriend Adam Scott while JJ made the long trip from the U.S. (made even longer by the delays caused by the Icelandic volcano) while still nursing the wrist injury she sustained in Charleston:
Jelena missed only one match for Serbia in the last 10 years. This time she flew 48 hours across half the world to play here, despite a serious wrist injury.
At the same time, somebody else had coffee somewhere while my child played hurting for her country.
Snezana also blamed the Serbian Tennis Federation for the low attendance over the weekend and questioned the whereabouts of the country's top political figures saying,
I think the organization failed this time and marketing flopped.
Why were our political elite and tennis officials absent. Those in charge should think: Does anybody care about women's tennis? Do we need a Fed Cup team at all?
Listen Snezana, I know you're peeved at NaturAna for not sucking it up and taking one for the team but, honestly, she probably didn't want to embarrass herself again in front of her homies like she did against Russia. Based on the current state of her game and mental fortitude, or lack thereof, she wouldn't have helped much anyway. At least with BoJo you got one point which is more than you were probably going to get with NaturAna. And that's the sad, sad truth.
As for the Serbian Tennis Federation and the MIA politicos, they suck for not pushing hard and supporting these lady ballers. Period.
So be as pissed as you wanna be, Snezana, and let 'em have it. I'm all for that.
[Photo(s): womenstennisblog.com, tenniswallpapers.net]
- Ernests Gulbis on needing seven match points to put away Roger Federer 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the second round of the Rome Masters 1000
Oh Curlbis. You and your lovely locks have been on everyone's radar for a while but now it seems you've gotten all serious about your career. You've got a HUGE game and Hernan Gumy sure knows what to do with it.
We like. Lots.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Fernando Verdasco was seemingly struck by a severe case of amnesia this week in Barcelona. After being absolutely annihilated by Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1 in the final of Monte Carlo a week ago the Spaniard gathered himself, threw on his best Calvin Klein undies (crotchless, perhaps?) and made his way to the final where he bested Robin Soderling 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 for his fifth career title.
It really does say something about a baller's state of mind and confidence when they can be utterly stomped on one week and come back and fight through some tough matches to take the crown the next week. I'm not saying he's going to win Roland Garros but these are the moments you can see a baller's growth and hard work paying off. He still has some demons to conquer (beating Rafa on ANY surface, for instance) but he seems to be moving in a positive direction and lifting his game at the right time.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the unlikely choice to play heroine at during this weekend's FED CUP semifinal bout between the U.S. + Russia but she's never been one to be conventional.
After being dealt a 1-2 deficit when Melanie Oudin went down to Elena Dementieva 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-3 in the third singles rubber, BMS seemed to understand the moment, digging in and using her all-court game to tough out a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win over Ekaterina Makarova and evening things up with the Russians. She returned to the court with Liezel Huber for the deciding doubles rubber against Elena + Alla Kudryavtseva, and the pair clinched the tie with an easy 6-3, 6-1 decision. The U.S. will now face a rematch of last year's FED CUP final when they face defending champs Italy in November.
BMS had all the pressure after Mels went down to Lena but she came through for the team when it really mattered, staying aggressive against Katia by serving-and-volleying at times, taking returns early and attacking the net when she could. I loved watching her game do the talking this time and not her fashion, which still has a lot to say that's not worth listening to. So stick to the tennis BMS, it's working for you. The other thing? Not so much. But you knew that.
[Photo(s): Getty, AP]