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Tennis-X Notes: Connors Hammers Murray, Federer Mourns U.S. Tennis
Posted on July 4, 2006
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TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Roger Federer has won 45 straight on grass, and 24 straight at Wimbledon...For the first time since 1911 (when no American women were in the draw) the U.S. will be shut out of the quarterfinals at Wimbledon...Andy Roddick is the only American man to reach the fourth round or better at a slam this year...Jimmy Connors, Johnny Mac and Goran Ivanisevic will be proud as a lefty is guaranteed of reaching the semifinals with Rafael Nadal playing Jarkko Nieminen...Rafael Nadal has not faced a player in Top 100 ATP Race yet at Wimbledon...Justin Henin-Hardenne has won 15 straight matches, and 22 straight sets in 11 straight Slam wins...Na Li became the first Chinese woman to ever reach a Slam quarterfinal...The last female qualifier to reach a quarterfinal was Jelena Dokic and Alexandra Stevenson at 1999 Wimbledon. This year they both lost in the qualifying...Jarkko Nieminen has reached the quarterfinals in two of his last four Slams. Over that same stretch Andy Roddick has reached zero Slam quarterfinals...Mario Ancic is the last player to beat Roger Federer on grass...Jonas Bjorkman or Radek Stepanek will be in the Wimbledon semifinals. That's not really scaring anyone...Including Challengers and qualifying, Severine Bremond has won 11 of her last 12 matches...Weather for Tuesday, a shade warmer with temperatures nearing 95F...The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne has upheld the decision of the Independent Tribunal in the case of Sesil Karatantcheva, confirming a two-year suspension, loss of ranking points and prize money...From tennis blogger Peter Bodo: "Charlie Bricker and Joe Stahl (TennisWorld's demented New Orleans Bureau Chief, who survived Katrina to fight again) just stopped by the desk to say Hi. Charlie put two balls down, right next to my computer, and issued this challenge: "Okay, which ball is larger?" Ball No. 1 was the official ATP Penn ball. Ball No. 2 was the official Slazenger Wimbledon ball. You know what? The Wimbledon ball is visibly -- conspicuously -- larger. No doubt about it, In fact, next to the ATP ball, it looks like that ill-fated Wilson "Rallyball." "And you wonder why players say the game is slower at Wimbledon?" Bricker said. "They're giving them basketballs instead of tennis balls." Apparently, Andy Roddick was complaining the other day about how hard it was to hit the ball "through the court" at Wimbledon nowadays, and I suppose this is one of the reasons."...Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Amelie Mauresmo and many others have once again donated personal items to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. A unique collection of signed StarCards, photographs, shoes, outfits, rackets, and other special items is available now at a special auction at www.starcards.org...From tennis writer Charlie Bricker: "And the equal pay argument drones on into the second week with the anti-equal pay people pointing out that the top four women's seeds have yet to lose a set while the men have been pushed harder. This has nothing to do with who's on court longer or who has lost a set. It's not like a corporation where people should receive equal pay for equal work and equal experience. This is entertainment and people are entitled to make as much as they can command. Madonna's male warmup acts don't get equal pay for being on the same stage. If the women think they're worth the same or more, they should negotiate and, if that fails, withhold their services. That always gets the attention of tournaments. There is no moral imperative that the genders should be paid the same money for tennis."...Rafael Nadal is considering suing a French newspaper that has linked him without evidence to the Spanish doping scandal...MSN has struck a deal with the All England Club to screen match highlights and exclusive clips from Wimbledon...Shenay Perry on choking in her 2-and-0 loss to Elena Dementieva: "I think it got to me a little bit. I can't explain why I was nervous. It's a position I haven't been in before and being the last American [was] a little nerve-wracking. I didn't handle it as well as I would have liked to."...Anastasia Myskina on Jelena Jankovic: "She's a really strange player. Let's put it that way. She walks on the court. I don't think she really care about the way she plays. She cares more about how she looks. That was kind of strange. She was touching her hair, whatever, her skirt. I was just thinking, 'If you don't want to play tennis, why are we even trying here so hard?' It's a little bit (distracting). She took her towel here, she took a towel there. It's really annoying. She can play really well but she's like up and down all the time." -- Meow!...Nice meltdown Monday by Nicole Vaidisova, losing the strategy and the temper...Jimmy Connors on Andy Murray losing to Marcos Baghdatis: "Baghdatis is a different player to [Andy] Roddick, he was able to get a lot of balls back, mix it up a little bit --- he wasn't so one-dimensional and it kind of threw Murray off a little bit, and Murray might have been a little bit over-confident, you never know. You've got to figure out a way to win when you're not playing so well, when you're only 50%, 60%. He had an opportunity to get into that third-set tie-breaker, win it and get stuck into the match. Instead it looked like the last shot, he almost gave up on it. He plays a drop shot that lands near the service line, gives Baghdatis the opportunity to stroll in and hit a winner. There's a lot of guys who would have been saying 'I'm going to die to get this point, I'm going to die to get the next one and the next one.' In the end it felt like he was ready to say 'OK, I'll pull out of this and give myself another opportunity next year and hopefully I'll learn something.' That's unacceptable to me."...The Times Online's Neil Harman on the fat Irakli "Freak Show" Labadze: "Of all the sights and sounds on this, the most eagerly awaited Monday in the tennis calendar, take a bit of time to feast on the Georgian, the antidote to what you expect a professional player to look like. When he played in the qualifying competition in Roehampton, it was not Labadze's beard and ponytail that took the breath away, but the size of his girth. Unless he has lost a couple of stone in a fortnight, one wonders quite how he has managed to win three rounds of singles on grass. How badly must Gaston Gaudio, the 2004 French Open champion from Argentina, have played to take only nine games from him in the second round? When Mardy Fish, from the United States, retired with a stomach upset on Saturday, it must have had something to do with being sick at losing a set to someone the size of a meat packer."...From online.ie: "Raging Dmitry Tursunov compared umpire Fergus Murphy to Saddam Hussein after being given a point penalty at a crucial point in his five-set loss to Jarkko Nieminen. Tursunov was penalised at the start of the final game of the match after reacting to losing his own service game by angrily hitting a ball in the umpire's direction. Nieminen closed out their fourth-round tussle 7-5 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7 before Tursunov launched his furious attack on Dubliner Murphy who is one of the most experienced officials on the circuit. Tursunov said: "Just because he has been doing it for many years doesn't mean he has been doing a good job, does it? Saddam Hussein has been in Iraq for a while but not too many people agreed with his point of view. For the last three matches when he was in the chair during my matches I have always had problems with him. I am not going to go into details but I think he is a very bad referee." -- Dropping the Saddam Hussein reference, that's an auto-fine...Andy Murray said he wished he had a coach to motivate him before the Marcos Baghdatis match? You needed extra motivation to want to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals?...Russian Elena Dementieva is in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time...Roger Federer says he hopes U.S. tennis will pick up by the US Open: "I think it's quite a disappointment. We know that it can happen at the French Open, but now seeing it happening in Wimbledon is obviously a bit of a surprise. On the women's side you're missing Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport (because of injury) but Andy Roddick was obviously a surprise. It's disappointing because I like seeing the Americans going far. They've had a great history, especially with Pete (Sampras) and Andre (Agassi), (Jim) Courier and (Michael) Chang, all these guys around. I hope it's gonna be better for them at the US Open."