Tennis-X Notes: Sticky-fingered Bryans, Kournikova Struggles

Posted on July 8, 2006

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From the gay publication Bay Windows: "[World TeamTennis General Manager Peter] Mandeau, one of the only openly gay General Managers in professional sports, is excited about the Lobsters' upcoming matches in Boston, in part because of another openly gay teammate, Martina Navratilova. Mandeau laughs when asked if being gay was ever a problem for him professionally. "I hope what we've created [with the Boston Lobsters] is not something that's so unusual," he tells me over the phone. "I know professional sports has a reputation of being quite homophobic. I hope that will start to change within the next couple of years as more and more athletes -- and the world in general -- becomes a more tolerant place," he continues, "but also [that] others will choose to take a chance and stand up and say, 'This is part of who I am, and part of what I do revolves around who I am.' For us, at the Boston Lobsters, it's just a non-issue. Me being a gay General Manager is a non-issue...with the other members of our management team. It's a non-issue with our staff, and certainly [it's] a non-issue with our players."...More on the two fans who ran on court during the Roger Federer-Mario Ancic match: "Two fathers' rights campaigners were arrested at Wimbledon after attempting to play tennis alongside Swiss ace Roger Federer. The men, who were both wearing T-Shirts carrying a version of the Wimbledon logo with Family Law It's a Racket emblazoned across it, came onto Centre Court during the defending champion's match against Mario Ancic of Croatia. One served a tennis ball towards the Royal Box while the other stood on the opposite side of the net before security men rushed onto court and ushered them off shortly after 3pm. The men -- Simon Wright (30) from Brighton, and Alan Jamieson (41) from Manchester -- said they were both members of Real Fathers 4 Justice, a breakaway group from Fathers 4 Justice. Before being led away, Wright said: "There have been 20 family law court cases and still I don't get to see my child and this is what I have had to resort to."...Anna Kournikova went 0-for-3 as her Sacramento Capitals lost to the Deleware Smash in World TeamTennis. The tennis Barbie lost in women's and mixed doubles, then substituted mid-match in singles when Bethanie "Soccer Mom" Mattek got injured against Angela Haynes...From FOX Sports: "Lleyton Hewitt's hometown ATP Tour tournament will be banished from the Australian tennis calendar in favour of a new event in Brisbane. Tennis Australia today announced the national men's and women's hard court championships would both be played in Brisbane from 2009. The men's event will move from Adelaide and the women's from the Gold Coast to a new $77 million tennis centre, which will have a roofed centre court, at Tennyson in Brisbane's south-west. The combined tournament will be a lead-in event to the annual Australian Open in Melbourne in January."...From Eurosport: "The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, together with Eurosport and Regency Enterprises have announced the largest ever deal for the broadcast of women's tennis. The deal extends the current agreement already in existence between the three parties for a further four years. Eurosport will broadcast over 600 hours of coverage of the WTA Tour, to over 100 million households across Europe, ensuring the further increase in profile and popularity of the women's game. The agreement grants Eurosport exclusive international television rights in Europe. "There will be electronic line-calling, pre-match player interviews, interviews with coaches," [WTA Tour CEO Larry] Scott told Reuters. "Things that are being discussed are possibly allowing coaching during matches, possibly putting microphones on players. We have to tread very carefully with the players. These are not initiatives to change the rules of tennis, this is about the packaging and marketing of the sport. It needs to have the buy-in and support of the players, this is sport and entertainment but sport comes first. We should almost double the revenue we made from the last four years. On a guaranteed basis alone it's a 30 percent increase to the prior deal."...From tennis blogger Peter Bodo: "The amazing thing to me was that [Jonas] Bjorkman more or less played exactly the game [Roger Federer] would have ordered up if he were looking to have an easy day. He couldn't have gotten crushed more decisively if he had charged the net behind ever serve (his and Federer's). But if Jonas -- ordinarily a proficient attacking player -- had done that, at least there would have been a kind of deranged, suicidal nobility about the whole thing -- kind of like the Polish cavalry (that's horseback, for you young folks) charging the German Panzer divisions as the Blitzkrieg unfolded. Instead, we got Bjorkman waving in the Swiss tank (no Mirka jokes, please!), hollering, Don't waste that precious ammo, Raj, you'll need it later. Come on into town. Take our children! Take our wimmen! Nice jacket, dude!!!!"...From the blogging Bob Bryan: "My tennis bag is stuffed. I brought home 5 big bottles of water and 4 official Wimbledon towels. These towels (see photo of me and coach Dave) have been a long tradition at Wimbledon and players make a habit of stealing as many as they can get their hands on. They make great gifts. For every match there are two new towels on your chair. When the match finishes, the ball boys try to snatch them from you, but if you shove them deep in your bag and run, they're yours. I played two mixed doubles matches today...I was two for two with the matches, but more importantly, I was 4 for 4 with the towels....Mike and I don't only share money. We also share our houses, cars, clothes, and Sports Illustrated once wrote that we even share the same toothbrush. Untrue...that's a nasty rumor. Thanks Dad!"...Tennis writer Charlie Bricker on Venus Williams blowing off Fed Cup for the U.S. in the face of Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne: "What really interests me about U.S. Fed Cup particularly at this time is Venus Williams' explanation of why she's not playing against Belgium, which is going to annihilate the team going over with captain Zina Garrison. "I don't think I'll be playing, no," she explained. "I cant' play that much tennis and stay healthy. It's a proven fact." OK, that sounds reasonable, except that she lost her singles here on July 1, 13 days before the first Fed Cup match, and she still wasn't interested in playing. Not that she's exhausted from playing a couple rounds at Wimbledon, because she's stayed on here to play mixed doubles, and she's still in the draw. Yes, I know mixed is a stroll in the park and singles is real work. Still, two weeks off to play one or two matches against the Belgians? To say that would debilitate her is rubbish, and that's a proven fact."...Justine Henin-Hardenne says when she watches tennis, it is men's: "No, I never watch the other matches in women's tennis," Henin-Hardenne said. "I don't want to take anything from that. I know [Amelie Mauresmo's] game pretty well. She knows mine pretty well. There are no surprises about that. I don't want to have a wrong feeling watching her playing against someone else. I watch a lot of the men's tennis."...The Bryan brothers are in their seventh consecutive Slam final, an all-time record...Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already secured spots at the year-end Masters Cup.