Tennis-X Notes: Roddick Testy, Federer Advice for Nadal

Posted on January 15, 2007

Pat Cash
writing for The Times on Serena Williams: "If anybody is qualified to make deluded statements about tennis, it is a former world No. 1 and winner of seven Grand Slam titles. But when Serena Williams arrives in Australia on her first foreign playing trip in a year and announces that it is only a matter of time before she is again dominating the sport, it's time to tell her to get real...Everybody knows she and Venus had no real choice when their father, Richard, decided that much of their childhood would be spent hitting tennis balls. Who can be surprised that this promotes a desire to do something different? But to make such a crass statement on her arrival in Australia was an insult to Amelie Mauresmo and Maria Sharapova, who have risen to the top of the game in her absence. They are the new winning breed. They are tall and hit the ball just as hard as the Williams sisters, if not harder. Coming through are Jelena Jankovic, Nicole Vaidisova and Ana Ivanovic, who possess similar firepower and just need a little more experience."

World Team Tennis' Hartford Foxfire has folded...Rafael Nadal says he is fully healed after suffering a leg injury last week...Serena Williams hasn't reached a tournament final in two years...Nice ESPN close-up of Andy Roddick calling opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a "f***king prick" after winning a tight point at the net. Good to see that coach Jimmy Connors is in Melbourne at least in spirit...ATP President Etienne de Villiers on the ATP round robin experiment in Adelaide: "I will be very, very surprised if that 32 hybrid survives. It was very creative, but it was very confusing as well. Qualifiers, eliminations, and then wait to see who gets into the first round, then you get delays, and you get some guys playing the first round before the qualifiers are finished." And E.T. speaking to the AP on all the ATP tournament pull-outs in 2006 by players: "I'm saying, 'Let's make it a commitment guys.' It's not a reservation or an option. Let's not defraud the fans. You are no different to rock stars. I tell the players, 'that's what we are doing to our tour.'" And E.T. on fining Nikolay Davydenko for saying the Sydney event was not important: "He was disrespectful to the game. I said to him, 'If you think there is a real issue, and you want it sorted, you come to us.' It's hard enough to get fans to come and enjoy this, and it's a lot worse when your own professionals are trashing tournaments. We put a lot of money and spend a lot of time and effort to get the best tournaments we can possibly have, and someone casually trashes it."...Roger Federer says rival Rafael Nadal needs to tone it down: "I think in the next few years, we'll see him adjusting his game because of maybe the physical strain to his body and everything. You know, he's young. He's still got time to really work on his game, try to come in more, try to improve his slice, try to improve his backhand. He's got plenty of things to work with. The only question is, is that going to make him a greater success? It's going to be interesting to see."...Carlos Moya after reaching the Sydney final: "Sometimes I have felt like quitting. I achieved everything that was in my dreams and there's been times when I have felt there is no reason to keep going. I could stay home more often and be with my family. But these kind of matches are the ones that make me keep going, to motivate me to keep walking out there in the sun. As long as I can play these kind of matches, I'll be around for a few more years."...American Donald Young won his first minor-league level pro singles title at the Grand Slam Futures event in Tampa, beating Michael Lammer of Switzerland in the final...What the hell happened to ESPN's Mary Carillo's hair?...Serena Williams on her and tennis: "I would be kind of pontificating if I said I think tennis needs me. But I think we work together. Tennis needs me, I need tennis. I'm happiest playing tennis. I love to be on the court. I love walking out in the crowd. I love the competition. It works both ways." So does Venus need tennis, after playing an off-season full of exhibitions on an injured wrist rather than letting it heal, then pulling from the Aussie Open?...The ATP's Benito Perez-Barbadillo is leaving the tour to form his own PR company and represent Rafael Nadal as his PR manager...Approximately 150 fans were ejected from the Australian Open on Monday after Croatian and Serbian fans became rowdy, Melbourne police said...Marat Safin on if he intimidates younger players on tour: "I don't think right now I do because it's a completely different new generation. They don't respect the older player. I was looking to [older players] more as heroes and I was a little bit scared to play against them. Now, the new generation, they're not scared, they are pretty far from being scared, which makes it more complicated to play them. I guess if I have to do something on the court to (intimidate) them, I will have to think of something."...Paradorn Srichaphan has joined the cast of the multitutde of sideline injured, saying he will take an extended break after losing at the Aussie Open with a wrist injury.