Google Down the Line!: 2014-07-20

Thursday, July 24, 2014

VIDEO VAULT: Del Potro back hitting backhands, Raonic practicing with Serena and Nestor

There were a couple of videos that made the rounds today and they were pretty noteworthy. The first one shows Juan Martin del Potro hitting backhands. He's basically pushing the ball to protect his surgically repaired left wrist. It's a start. I, personally, can't wait for the BIG LUG to return. #biglugluv y'all.

Milos Raonic was practicing today in Toronto and brought along a couple of friends...Serena Williams and Daniel Nestor.

ReRe tweeted about the practice session afterwards:

[Photo credit: Milos Raonic Facebook page]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

(UPDATED) +NETCORDS: Stephens and Annacone split, Neil Harman caught plagiarizing, and Vaidisova practicing again

Busy day in the tennisphere...

- Soooooo lookie (up) there. If it isn't our old friend, the ex-Worm loving Czech lady baller who retired at the age of 20, Nicole Vaidisova. She was hugely talented, although I always thought her backhand technique was, er, funky. But Vaida had big wins and was on her way up before calling it quits. Then there was the marriage to Radek Stepanek. Let's not relive that one. Apparently she's back to practicing and feeling good: These last couple weeks Im finally able to serve with less pain then i have in over 3 years, it makes me hopeful and happy to see progress after struggling the last couple years with repeated surgeries,rehabs and setbacks..its one step at a time but finally getting a step closer..

- Remember when I mentioned there would likely be more baller-coach partnerships ending? Well...

You can read more here

- Speaking of coaching partnerships, Ana Ivanovic, who recently split with Nemanja Kontic, will be working with former baller Dejan Petrovic on a trial basis through the North American hard-court season. Here's an all-black look she posted on Instagram today for a photoshoot in Napa Valley. Innnteresting.

- Ben Rothenberg on what Neil Harman said to him after being busted for plagiarism: “As you can imagine, I’m utterly, utterly shocked by the whole thing. It’s left me numb.” He said he “had no idea of the extent to which I have unfairly used other people’s words.” Um, I'm not even going to go into how lame Neil's explanations are and how disingenuous his remorse feels. He's clearly in deep denial and reaching for any excuse to save face. There was no public apology when he was first confronted with the evidence - only when it was about to go public. What I really want to know is who at the All England Club will be held responsible for trying to keep it all quiet; for allowing the Wimbledon Yearbook to still be sold even though they knew sections were plagiarized; and for still giving Neil media access at Wimbledon this year even after the plagiarism was discovered? Somebody has some explaining to do. A MUST READ OBVI.

- Genie Bouchard covers the August issue of Elle Quebec

- John Tomic is disputing news from IMG Tennis that both parties agreed to end the partnership with his son, Bernie. On July 16, the sports agency tweeted that they "mutually ended" their relationship with Bernie and wished him "great success." Papa Johns was no having any of it. He told Fairfax Media that they had been looking to leave IMG for the last year-and-a-half, but the agency wanted compensation to cover any losses they would incur from losing Bernie. Uh-huh.

- Caroline Wozniacki's dog, Bruno, has its own jersey courtesy of adidas. Because dogs are awesome.

- Andy Murray has been posting a bunch of training photos and videos on his Facebook page (I found the vid below on drills without actually hitting a tennis ball particularly fascinating). You can see Amelie Mauresmo in some of the photos which some believe signifies Muzz's intention on keeping the partnership intact. Perhaps. There hasn't been a formal announcement yet, but according to The Telegraph "the fact that Mauresmo has travelled to Miami, breaking her habit of holidaying in Biarritz in late July, suggests that she is committed to the project over the longer term." Solid reporting, y'all. 

UPDATE: According to Matt Cronin of, Sloane has brought on Thomas Hogstedt as coach. He has worked with Maria Sharapova, Li Na, and Caroline Wozniacki among others. Speaking of others, wasn't he just with Daniela Hantuchova at Wimbledon? What happened - was it just for the grass-court season?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

(UPDATED) THE LOW DOWN: Did Maria Kirilenko end it with Alex Ovechkin over this Instagram photo?

Is this photo the reason why Maria Kirilenko called off her engagement and ended her relationship with Alex Ovechkin? According to Sports Illustrated, this picture of Ovechkin with gymnast Karolina Sevastianova taken by the hockey star's friend, Russian basketballer Russian basketballer Vitaly Fridzonon, and posted on his Instagram feed led to the breakup.

In the statement released to Russia's R-Sport by Kiri, she said there were "a lot of reasons" for the breakup but did not go into detail. It may look harmless, but there's probably more going on there than meets the eye if the reports are true.

UPDATE: Kiri was interviewed by Sovetsky Sport and denied this image had anything to do with the breakup. Via Deadspin:
Maria, can you comment on the story about the pictures with Sasha and [gymnast Karolina Sevastyanova] on social networks, which are being so vigorously discussed in the media?

Maria Kirilenko: Believe me, over the years I have seen so many pictures of Sasha in the company of young ladies, that I have gotten used to it. That is normal. We are public figures, and people often want to take pictures with us. This is the first time I heard about this girl, and I made my decision to break up the engagement long before these pictures appeared on the social networks. It is laughable to point to them as the main reason behind the breakup – after three years together couples do not break up over a couple of pictures. There are much more significant reasons. I will not go into any more details about them. But let's just say it is not a secret for anybody that Sasha has certain habits and particulars of behavior that I did not consider worth tolerating anymore.
"Certain habits"? "Particulars"? Bueller? Bueller?

 [Photo(s) credit:]

Monday, July 21, 2014

FASHION FIX: Betterer isn't just for Federer anymore

Now you can be Betterer, too. This Nike RF V-Neck tee ($40) is also available in heather grey. Git it.

[Photo(s) credit: Tennis Warehouse]

VIDEO VAULT: The year was 1997 and the music was ________.

All the talk last week was focused on a 17-year old, Alexander Zverev, and a 16-year old, Ana Konju, who will turn 17 in December. Just to prove what an old you are (yeah, and me, too) compared to these fresh-faced wunderkinds, here are the Top 10 songs from the year they were born (according to Billboard). And that year would be, ahem, 1997...

10. Wannabe - The Spice Girls

9. How Do I Live Without You - LeAnn Rimes

8. Return of the Mack - Mark Morrison

7. Don't Let Go (Love) - En Vogue

6. I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly

5. Can't Nobody Hold Me Down - Puff Daddy ft. Mase

4. Un-Break My Heart - Toni Braxton

3. I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans and 112

2. Foolish Games - Jewel


1. Candle in the Wind - Elton John!!!!!!!!

Yup. I'm an old.

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