Google Down the Line!: + NETCORDS: Quick hits from around the grounds

Saturday, May 21, 2011

+ NETCORDS: Quick hits from around the grounds

- It was Les Enfants de Roland-Garros a.k.a Kids' Day at Roland Garros today. Weeee! Shockingly (not), Novak Djokovic stepped in for Bob Sinclar and hit the decks with DJ Big Ali in Philippe Chatrier Stadium. And he doesn't look one inch out of place. I see a post-tennis career in the making. Don't you? More shots from Kids' Day here and video here.

- Speaking of Nole (and who isn't - right Johnny Mac?) you must check out this awesome story by SI's S.L. Price on the Serb and his move towards history this fortnight.

- Tom Perrotta interviewed the head of the USTA baller development program, Patrick McEnroe, and Jose Higueras, the USTA's director of coaching, on the challenges facing U.S. tennis and what steps they're taking to overcome them - namely getting the ballers to be more proficient on the clay. "You can't predict the future, technology, whatever," PMac said. "But the way the game is going, it would be very surprising if we went back to some kind of bang-bang tennis. One-shot tennis is dead."

- Make sure to check out the Roland Garros Twitvid page. It's chalk full of quick but super fun footage of practice sessions, interviews and other action you don't normally get to see. Insidery, if you will.

- Marty's got Maria's back: "There is no real reason, though, why Sharapova, whose victory in the Italian Open in Rome came against last year’s French Open runner-up Sam Stosur, cannot also win this year’s title at Roland Garros."

- Bethanie Mattek-Sands is at it again. No, it's not her on-court fashions. Yet. She's blogging for USA Today again.

- Bear Grylls grabbed a hit with Andre Agassi and apparently held his own. Um, yeah.

- Christopher Clarey of The New York Times interviewed Bjorn Borg and grabbed a money quote: "I always have said that records are meant to be beat, not only in tennis but in all sports. I wish Rafa the best of luck. It would be great to see him win the sixth time or seven or eight times." You should also check out his other piece. It's 20 years in the making.

- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams all made the 2011 Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Translation: How to Make Bank and Influence People.

- Mary Carillo, who is now with the Tennis Channel as a broadcaster and analyst, not only enjoys being in front of the camera but also behind the scenes as she explained in a conference call this past week for Roland Garros:
I love the sport of tennis, but I also really like the sport of television. I like a lot of different parts of it. I like pre-production. I like post-production. I like live. I like editing. I like writing. I have written a couple of documentaries. I am really hoping that if this goes well, I get to hang around and do all kinds of things for Tennis Channel.
So I guess it should come as no surprise that one of the reasons for her departure from ESPN late last year may have been due to differences in opinion with regards to the production of their telecasts. Here's Mary in an excerpt from ESPN Book:
ESPN is very graphics oriented, and [it] was explained to me – because I was having a hard time watching the screen get smaller and smaller – that all the wizardry is there because there’s a lot of places where the sound is off. ESPN is shown in bars or people have it on in the background. They’re watching out of the corner of their eye...So they want to give them a lot of graphics. I got some really big issues with that.
While we're on the subject of Tennis Channel here's a look at their promo spot for Roland Garros. And don't forget: TC will be streaming matches LIVE on their website starting tomorrow at 5 AM EST and showcasing matches in 3-D for fans with AT&T U-verse®, Comcast or DIRECTV during Memorial Day Weekend. CHECK IT:

- TOTALLY OFF-TOPIC: Darren Criss and all his adorkableness for GQ; Bert sans Ernie meets Andy Samberg and all hell breaks loose (not really); Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence takes Elle in Miu Miu; RIP Macho Man; it's a boy for Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; Bane from The Dark Knight Rises is revealed; Messi the genius; "Stand by your man..."

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