Google Down the Line!: 2010-07-04

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ugly incident mars Croatia-Serbia Davis Cup tie

Something wicked this way came. And it happened during the opening rubber of the Davis Cup tie today pitting former Yugoslav republics Croatia + Serbia against each other. Novak Djokovic defeated Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-1 in that match.

According to the AP (via Djangoo),

Croatia's fans booed and jeered and refused to stand when Serbia's national anthem was played, and some chanted "Kill the Serb" and other abuse at Djokovic.

"We had expected the heated atmosphere before we came here, but I'm sorry that some fans behaved the way they did at the start of the match," Djokovic said. "As the match progressed, things got a bit cooler probably because I was leading."

Ljubicic, a good friend of Djokovic, said he was also annoyed by the chants from the crowd. "They affected my concentration just as they did his," he said.

Just awful.

[Photo(s): Reuters]

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PHOTO OP: Clijsters beats Serena at "Best of World" event, sets new attendance record

The "Best of Belgium" exhibition event, renamed the "Best of World" after Justine Henin was replaced by Serena Williams in the match due to an elbow injury, set a new world record for attendance at a tennis match with 35,681 spectators surpassing the previous record of 30,472 set by the "Battle of the Sexes" match in 1973 featuring Billie Jean King + Bobby Riggs.

Kimmie defeated an injured ReRe (foot) 6-3, 6-2 with 18-time Grand Slammer Martina Navratilova serving as chair umpire and Roland Garros champ Francesca Schiavone making a surprise appearance.

"I was here often as a little girl to come and watch football," said Kimmie referring to her late father, Leo, who played soccer in the stadium. "That I can actually play here is very special and emotional. I said to myself a few times: 'Remember this moment well.'"

The event, held at King Baudouin Stadium, raised money for charity and marked Belgium's 6-month presidency of the European Union. It concluded with a concert and fireworks.

Check out more images from the record-setting moment below!

[Photo(s): Sport.Be]

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nadal to attend World Cup final, drops racquets for pom poms

Rafael Nadal is set to announce his plans to attend the World Cup final in South Africa this Sunday!

After Spain reached its first EVAH final yesterday defeating favored Germany 1-0 there was much speculation about whether the Wimbledon champ would make the trip. He already decided to skip this weekend's Davis Cup tie versus France to undergo lengthy treatment on his knees so it wasn't a given he would attend.

It's a World Cup final, though, and a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his friends and compatriots take home the title. His next tourney isn't until Canada in about a month which seems like enough time to get treatment and recover even if it needs to be pushed back a bit for this trip. I imagine his boys on the DC team would understand and would want someone to go and support the team, too. And who better than the bigger cheerleader of 'em all - Rafa?

But, really, how could he miss this?! Well, now he won't.

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PHOTO OP: A-Rod's latest hairy situation - was it worth it?

"Keepin' it clean y'all."

I've been trying to take a break from tennis since suffering from tired fingers + fried brain after the long haul that began on the clay of Monte Carlo, and as you can see from my actual posts this week my efforts have been a complete and total SUCCESS. I mean, it would be great to be fresh for the North American hard-court swing and the U.S. Open.

So here's another reason why I unbroke my break: Andy Roddick's latest hairy situation. Apparently he and wifey, Brooklyn, spent the Fourth of July weekend at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and got a little crazy with the clippers. But what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas so we have the proof.

Now A-Rod's no stranger to the pitfalls of a hairy situation but me thinks this one isn't nearly as bad. I'm sure he was looking for a fresh start after his Wimbledon fail.

What do you guys think - LOVE IT or LEAVE IT?

[Via:, Image:]

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

(UPDATED) A Look Back: Serena Williams has it covered for Sports Illustrated

Top lady baller Serena Williams will be featured on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated after capturing her fourth Wimbledon crown and 13th career major.

Tennis scribe Jon Wertheim penned the cover story with the provocative, argument-inducing headline, "Serena Williams: Love Her, Hate Her. She's the Best Ever." If you ask me she still has a bit to go, though not so far in reality, to hoist the title of GOAT. But if anyone in recent memory has had the best chance of reaching the pinnacle it's ReRe.

So how did the current WTA Penthouse resident react to the news of her latest SI cover? Via Twitter:


I thought she'd be happier. Anyway, her latest cover on the sports rag made me curious to look back and reminisce on her past SI moments:

This one came out in May 2003, months after a then 21-year old ReRe completed the "Serena Slam" capturing four straight majors beginning with 2002 Roland Garros and ending at the 2003 Australian Open. She was going for a fifth straight major win in Paris but a spunky Belgian named Justine Henin got in her way in a controversial semifinal upset.

The Wimbledon champ was featured on another cover in May 2003 showcasing the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports (top right corner) where she placed third on the list.

And, of course, the one that started off her spectacular career was her exciting run to the title as a 17-year old at the U.S. Open defeating then-World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final. This cover, released in September 1999, hints at the surprise of seeing ReRe grab the first Grand Slam in the Williams family over sister Venus, whose forlorn look was a memorable moment from that day.

The latest SI issue featuring ReRe will be on stands Wednesday, July 7.

UPDATE: Speaking of ReRe and magazines she's featured in the July 20 issue of Harper's Bazaar. The article includes some interesting tidbits.

On her infamous catsuit from the 2002 U.S. Open:
"I was like, 'I can't go out there. Oh, my God, I'm so nervous, I can't go out. I feel really exposed.'" She asked fellow player Justine Henin what she thought. (Henin recommended a more traditional skirt and top.) But the rest, as they say, is history. "I felt so comfortable," she remembers, "and after that, I owned it."
On her body image:
"I was 23 when I realized that I wasn't Venus. She's totally different," she explains. "I'm super-curvy. I have big boobs and this massive butt. She's tall and she's like a model and she fits everything. I was growing up, wanting to be her, wanting to look like her, and I was always fitting in her clothes, but then one day I couldn't." She pauses. "But it's fine. Now I'm obviously good, but it's a weird thing."
On her workout regime:
"I wanted to get really fit. I wanted to lose some weight. So I've been doing Pilates and yoga, trying to lean out my body so I won’t be bulky." Her regimen: Pilates two or three times a week and when she's training for a tournament, "a couple of hours of hitting, then an hour or two of cardio and strengthening in the gym.” Also, when she's at home in L.A., she runs the half mile up a hill to Venus's house instead of driving. But no dieting. "I don't even know the D word," she says with a laugh.
On the breakup with ex-boyfriend Common back in April:
"His schedule is actually worse than mine," she sighs. "He didn't want the responsibility. It's really tough."
[Photo(s): covers via Sports Illustrated swimsuit image by William Klein]

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Monday, July 5, 2010

PHOTO OP: Freudian slippage

Either the Rafael Nadal web team is relying too much on Google Translations (because we all know what a bang up job THAT does) or he'll have some 'splaining to do next time he bumps into Roger Federer and/or Tomas Berdych.

On a personal note, I'm hoping for the latter and for someone to upload it to YouTube. It's a keeper.

[via NadalNews, screen capture via]

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Post-Wimbledon rankings update: Federer falls to No. 3, Venus to No. 4 after early exits

Wimbledon winners Serena Williams, working a gold, sparkly Burberry number, and Rafael Nadal gave full-on glam while showing off their new hardware at the annual Champions' Ball held at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel in London last night.

While the World. No. 1's still maintain large point leads in the rankings and are solidly in the top spot, there were some other notable moves today.

Of course the most discussed change in the rankings is Roger Federer's slip outside of the Top 2 for the first time since 2003 to land at No. 3 right behind Novak Djokovic after his quarterfinal loss to Tomas Berdych. The Czech baller, who reached his first ever Grand Slam final, is now at a career-high No. 8.

Robin Soderling makes his debut in the Top 5 on the heels of his quarterfinal appearance at the All England Club, while Andy Roddick fell two spots to land at No. 9 after his fourth round loss to Yen-Hsun Lu. The Taiwanese baller made the biggest gain this week skyrocketing 40 spots to land at No. 42.

And what about John Isner, who played and won the longest match in tennis history? He moved one whole spot to No. 18. I'm pretty sure it was still worth it, though.

See the full ATP World Tour singles rankings here.

On the WTA side of things, Venus Williams has fallen two spots to land at No. 4 behind No. 2 Jelena Jankovic and No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki after getting stunned by Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals. The Bulgarian made a huge leap from No. 82 to land at No. 35 after reaching her first major semifinal. Her conqueror, finalist Vera Zvonareva, re-entered the Top 10 and now sits at No. 9 right in front of Li Na who moved up two spots to No. 10. And, first-time semifinalist Petra Kvitova jumped 33 spots to the 29th spot this week.

The complete WTA tour singles rankings can be found here.

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

SIGHTING: Xisca Perello gets her WAGwear on right

Xisca Perello was spotted in the baller box watching boyfriend Rafael Nadal win his second Wimbledon championship today.

I guess the Ray Ban aviators and long, casual hair are required WAGwear at the moment - see additional Exhibits A & B.

Now THAT'S pressure.

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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PHOTO OP: A return to the throne

It wasn't the supreme Rafael Nadal on display today who stopped Brit Andy Murray in the Wimbledon semifinals. But the World No. 1's game was good enough to earn his second championship at the All England Club and eighth major title.

The Mallorcan Matador showed some cracks in his usually stalwart game during his 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych including some uncharacteristic errors on his fave forehand side. He offered up 4 break point chances on his serve in the match but the Czech was never able to convert on any of these opportunities, particularly in the opening game of the second set when he missed three chances to take the lead. And, in typical fashion, Rafa played the scoreline well, amping up his aggression in the key moments of each game, each set to take the advantage.

Unfortunately, Big Berd never found a good rhythm on his massive serve and struggled to get first deliveries in the box throughout ending the match with a 59% on first serves. Rafa made him pay for this lapse, running the 6' 5" baller to all parts of the court and causing him to hit shots out of his comfort zone. The second seed ended the match on a forehand passing shot and dropped to the dirt to celebrate the win. Oh, and he treated the crowd to a low-impact somersault topped off with a double fist pump for dessert. Yums.

"This year, I came back and to have the trophy in my hand is more than I can dream," Rafa told the crowd on Centre Court afterward. "[It] was probably one of the toughest moments in my career. Winning here was always my dream. I did it two years ago, did it again this year. Unbelievable."

With his eighth major title he ties Fred Perry, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi on the all-time list and is one of only four ballers in history to win eight majors before the age of 25, the others being Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg. Pretty spectacular company, eh? Plus he's now twice earned one of the toughest achievements in tennis: the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double.

As for Big Berd he did well in his first major final appearance. He got off the mark nicely but his game seemed to be missing the same intensity he'd shown in defeating Fed and Novak Djokovic. His movement wasn't as fluid, either, forcing him to hit off-balance at times and his biggest weapons - serve, forehand - apparently went on walkabout. But he made a real breakthrough this fortnight and as an all-court baller he'll surely make a big impact on the North American hard-court swing leading up to the final Slam of the year, the U.S. Open.

Check out more images from Rafa's Wimby win below!

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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Nadal bests Berdych to win second Wimbledon title and 8th major championship

Rafael Nadal is a Wimbledon champion once again.

Two years after winning his first title at the All England Club in the epic 2008 final over Roger Federer, the Mallorcan Matador claimed his second championship by defeating Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Rafa now ties Fred Perry, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi on the all-time Grand Slam list with his eight major titles.

More coverage to come!

[Photo(s): Getty Images]

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