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Tennis-X Notes: Women Under Fire for No Depth
Posted on June 30, 2006
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TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
How about Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt doing a complete 180 Thursday. Hewitt looked great in the first round, then like crud Thursday. The reverse for Roddick...Since dumping the opening set, Andre Agassi has won six straight sets...Rafael Nadal overcame an 0-2 set deficit for the second time in his career Thursday, breaking the spirit of Robert Kendrick. Kendrick had just won his first career match at Wimbledon in he first round...What makes Roger Federer so good? He's only been aced two times in two matches...The way things are going, Andy Roddick will play Andy Murray and Andre Agassi meets Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon on Saturday, the same afternoon England plays Portugal in the World Cup. Get out the riot gear...Venus Williams won 11 of the last 13 games to rally and beat Lisa Raymond...Justine Henin-Hardenne has won 13 straight matches...Roger Federer has won 43 straight on grass, 23 straight at the Big W...Olivier "The Roach" Rochus has registered the biggest blowout of the tournament on the men's side, dropping just two games to Tomas Zib...Roger Federer's opponent today, Nicholas Mahut, also won Wimbledon as a junior in 2000...Amy "Joltin' Joe" Frazier is playing in her 70th career Grand Slam...From tennis blogger Peter Bodo: "I also was bummed when I saw that Mark Philippoussis went down in flames to plodding, diligent, he-puts-his-pants-on-one-leg-at-a-time Max Mirnyi. Scud (or "Pou" to some among his legion of female admirers) has pretty much blown his career for a combination of three reasons: he's as lazy and soft as he is talented, he's a stud muffin, and he's dumb as a rock (actually, that may be an insult to any self-respecting chunk of rhyolite or biotite)."...While Patrick McEnroe as the U.S. Davis Cup captain wisely holds back somewhat when speaking of his "boys" (as he must), his brother and former D-Cup captain John has no qualms about letting loose with both barrels at America's upper echelon, especially struggling poster boy Andy Roddick: "Andy is an intelligent guy and there have been questions as to his approach. The irony in sports is that sometimes the less you think and the more you react, your hard work will pay off. Over-analyzing and over thinking can get you in trouble particularly on a court like this when things happen so fast. For a guy with that big of a serve, he doesn't take advantage of it as much as he should. I think his opponents pick up on his doubts. He is playing based more on hope than belief and that's why you have seen his ranking slip. Roddick just needs confidence and a few good things to happen. First, he needs to keep in top condition so that he can put himself in a position to succeed when that opportunity comes. He likes (grass) the best so clearly he is in a comfort zone here and then he needs things to fall his way. He's gotten away from the thing he does best which is that big serve and forehand and has forgotten about those others players and is only focusing on [Roger] Federer. What's happening is that the other players are beginning to think they have a chance now and they have taken advantage of his liabilities. He has a tendency to go out there and try and kamikaze it, trying to come in on balls when he's not really comfortable. You always have to keep your core and make sure that you are in a position to have confidence in what you do best. I'm hopeful that he's beginning that process already."...Following in the footsteps of Lleyton Hewitt, who once remarked to the media that Aussie tennis fans were stupid, Andy Murray is making big headway with Brit fans via blogging on his new website, noting that he definitely won't be rooting for England during the World Cup. What's next for the Scottish wunderkind? Stubbing out a cigarette on the Union Jack before a match? Offering a two-fingered salute toward the Queen's box before exiting the court? Time to ramp it up, come out Friday with the Portugal jersey...Lisa Raymond went for the throat-clutcher serving for the match at 5-3 against Venus Williams, failing to get a first serve in...Maria Sharapova after letting slip in a press conference that she enjoyed collecting stamps: "Everyone's calling me a dork now. My agent said not to talk about that because he's definitely gotten so many e-mails from people. We're getting e-mails from, like, stamp collecting magazines asking if I can do an interview. It's just a hobby. I'm actually good telling stories, but that is one I should have never talked about." -- Take it easy Global Brand, don't venture too far from what your agent tells you to do. Doing a cover shoot for Stamps Monthly would probably be the coolest thing you never did...From the AP: "SUPER SUNDAY: For sports fans, it's Super Sunday -- the men's singles championship at Wimbledon and the World Cup soccer final in Berlin on July 9. British bookmaker William Hill is offering odds for a Double-Double championship bet, allowing a combined bet to be placed on a player from one country along with the country's soccer team. With the World Cup quarterfinals set to begin Friday, and the Wimbledon men's final still more than 10 days away, Williams Hill's best offer involves Argentina, with 2002 finalist David Nalbandian (20-1) and its soccer team the 7-2 second favorite combining for odds of 94-1. "I hope they beat Germany in the quarterfinals and then we'll see what happens," Nalbandian said of the possible Argentinian double. Andy Murray, although he's Scottish and not English, forms part of the British double -- Murray and England combining at 350-1. Germany and Tommy Haas are next best at 550-1 while France, with former Wimbledon semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean, is at 1,200-1." -- And the U.S. with Andy Roddick are -- oops, sorry, is that football with the round ball or the seed-shaped one?...Martin Johnson getting all politically incorrect for The Telegraph: "It wouldn't be Wimbledon without the annual debate on prize money, and the women banging on about equal pay, so it's high time the All England Club got to grips with the modern world and started paying the girls precisely what they're worth. In which case, next year's ladies' singles winner will get a postal order for 2.95 (pounds), a Zone One Travel Card for going on the Tube, and a complimentary teddy bear (tea towel and apron set for the runner-up) from the Wimbledon Shop. The All England Club are not the kind of establishment who like to court controversy, which probably explains why their chief executive is forced into promoting the usual argument against equal pay, namely less money for less work. What he'd really like to say, but can't, is that the tickets for women's tennis matches in the first week of a grand slam should be subject to the same government regulations as a cigarette packet, and stamped: "Warning. May Induce Irreversible Coma."...And from Chris Clarey in the New York Times: "The women's long-running quest for equal prize money at Wimbledon has gathered momentum this year with everyone from Andre Agassi to British prime minister Tony Blair offering their support to those who would bust through the glass ceiling at the All England Club. But the third day of play was perhaps not the best day to push the point too hard. One of the arguments in favor of equal pay is that it is not a question of the men playing best-of-five sets and the women playing best-of-three. It is a question of entertainment value. Yet there could be no debate about which gender provided fewer thrills on Wednesday. No. 1 women's seed Amelie Mauresmo won her first-round match over Ivana Abramovic 6-0, 6-0. Defending champion Venus Williams won 6-1, 6-0 against fellow American Bethanie Mattek, who made much more of an impression with her attire -- knee socks and tight white shorts -- than with her attempts to serve and volley. No. 3 seed Justine Henin-Hardenne and Martina Hingis both cruised into the third round with 6-1, 6-2 victories."...Rafael Nadal says the big bad umpires all over the world are picking on him: "I don't know what's happened in recent months and tournaments with the umpires. It's strange because every time I feel under a lot of pressure over time. Today he gave me a time warning when I was bouncing the ball to serve. Later he told me I couldn't say 'Wait a second' (when receiving serve). That's unbelievable, no? That's a new rule, maybe. I don't know, maybe it's just for me. I don't know if it's because in Rome [Roger] Federer said I had coaching and [Ivan] Ljubicic talked about the time at Roland Garros," said Nadal. "But maybe the umpires need to look more closely because it is not my fault sometimes. It's not nice for me." -- Last time we checked the server gets to dictate play Rafa, not the returner holding up the hand, you and J-H-H should start a club...Props to Marat Safin for another classic entertaining meltdown, going up 2-0 sets on Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez before an argument with the chair umpire results in an f-bomb-dropping collapse. Awesome. If we believed in smiley icons it would be that one that bows to you. You can't teach that, it's innate, a mildly-retarded form of genius. Sorry, "mildly-mentally-handicapped" form of genius. Too good. Picture that little bowing happy face again...Do you really want to bet against Venus, who has been to the Wimbledon final in five of the last six years? "V" for victory just gets better as the tourney goes longer. Retire if she's winning Slams just because her overweight sister is overburdening her joints and might be forced to call it quits? Can't see that.