Tennis Notes: Rafa Opens School, Serena Drama Dodger
by Staff | June 4th, 2009, 1:38 pm

ANCIC ILL — AGAIN — Mario Ancic is still struggling with the mono he first contracted two years ago, and has announced he will take a break from the tour again, missing Wimbledon and Croatia’s Davis Cup meeting against the U.S.: “Don’t ask me when I’ll return, because I don’t even know the answer myself,” Ancic told the press in his homeland. “Health is most important. I have to listen to my body. The fact that I cancelled my favorite tournament (Wimbledon) and an important match with Americans, tells it all about the seriousness of the situation.”…

RAFA FOUNDATION TO OPEN INDIAN SCHOOL — World No. 1 Rafael is opening a tennis school in India. The Nadal Tennis School (NTS) is scheduled to open in June 2010 in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a joint venture between the Rafael Nadal Foundation and Fundacion Vincente Ferrer, the Spanish arm of India-based non-governmental organization Rural Development Trust. Admission will be restricted to children 8 years and older, with four clay courts being built to begin. Nadal’s mother, Ana Maria Parera, chairs Rafa’s foundation, which was launched in January 2007.

Serena Williams at the French Open: “I’m like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, like, drama follows them. I don’t want to be that girl.”…

Aussie Mark Philippoussis, who has earned $7+ million during his career, says he is broke and facing his house being snatched back by the bank. “Money came in left, right and center; you just thought that’s how it was for everyone and that’s how it will always be,” Flipper told the Aussie media. The 32-year-old lives with his mother in the family home. “I’ve lived an easy life, the life you dream about. And at that time I thought it was normal, but it’s so far from normal. A lot of people are going through tough times right now and I’m struggling just like anyone else.”…’s Greg Garber on 16-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito’s grunting: “Her shrieks — calling them grunts just doesn’t do them justice — are breathtaking (literally) and so high-pitched that one suspects dogs on the other side of Paris are complaining, too. Larcher de Brito unleashes them on virtually every stroke…”

RACQUET, STRING TECH ADVANCES SEEN IN SERVE — According to a study by Rod Cross of Sydney University, the average men’s service speed at the French Open increased 16 MPH in the eight years between 2001 and 2008, from 101 mph to 117 mph. In other words, give me a Babolat with Big Banger so I can toss it up and hit it as hard as I can. That’s an advance of the game?…

DUMB DOKIC DAD UPDATE — Jelena Dokic’s dad Damir is facing up to eight years in prison for “endangering security” of the ambassador and unlawful possession of weapons, his lawyer, Bosiljka Djukic, told The Associated Press. Damir threatened to blow up the Australian ambassador’s car after negative stories about him started coming out of the Aussie press…

The elbow stress fracture that made “Special” Kei Nishikori miss the French will also keep him out of Wimbledon…

Also Check Out:
Novak Djokovic Visits A School In Belgrade, Donates Over $65K Toward Children’s Playground [Video]
Vera Zvonareva: I Love School!
Andy Murray Broke Down In Tears After Receiving The Freedom Of Stirling [Video]
Tennis-X Notes: Federer in for Davis Cup, ATP Thumbs Up for Alcohol
Federer, Djokovic in Action; ATP Previews

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36 Comments for Tennis Notes: Rafa Opens School, Serena Drama Dodger

scineram Says:


zola Says:

Vamos Rafa!
I think I should move to India!
It will be great if in a few years students from “Nadal Tennis Academy” start competing.

jane Says:

I think it’s great that players like Nadal and Djokovic are trying to develop tennis in younger generations – with Nadal beginning this school and the Djoko’s bringing at least one new academy to Serbia as well as buying and organizing its first tournament. I know Agassi has a school in Vegas as well, but I believe it focuses on academics for the underprivileged and not tennis? In any case, the more good players on the back burner, the better for the game, no matter from where those players come. Many players have charitable foundations, which is great too. This is a conscientious bunch of players presently on the ATP tour.

sensationalsafin Says:

If you just look at it simply, players like Agassi, Djokovic, Nadal, etc, have all gained so much from tennis. Money, joy, fame, stable lives… So why not spread the wealth? It is awesome though. Good on these guys.

huh Says:

Wow, Rafa opening tennis school in a third world country shows his generosity . Vamos !!!

Hari Says:

Nadal school will help launch a wave of large Tennis Academies across India.
Sania Mirza (career high #27), in the past few years, has been able to promote tennis beyond the core community of sports fans in urban areas. The Nadal brand could take it much further, especially among the young children. This typically will ensure more corporate investments into Academies.

Shan Says:

Serena: “I’m like one of those girls on a reality show that has all the drama, and everyone in the house hates them because no matter what they do, like, drama follows them. I don’t want to be that girl.”

Drama follows you? I don’t understand that at all

Ra Says:

All the best to poor Ancic.

Kudos, Rafa!

Oh, Serena… What can one even say?

Hi Jane. Sorry about Novak’s early exit. You were my first thought at the end of that match. I’ve missed his presence in this tournament, too.

Hi Zola. Sorry about Nadal’s early exit. I can’t say you were my first thought at the end of that match, because as best I can recall my brain shut down for awhile and I’m really not sure what happened next.

Hi sensationalsafin, Kimmi, and any others that don’t care to presumptuously pigeonhole me or others into some derogatory stereotype.

jane Says:

“because as best I can recall my brain shut down for awhile and I’m really not sure what happened next.” LOL – I think mine shut down too Ra. What a shocker! I mean who’d've thunk Soderling of all chaps? Not moi. I’ve missed Djoko but am learning to live with his ups and downs and take em as they come. For me, he’s major fun to watch when he’s around and on form; hope to see some of that at Wimbledon. I’ll bet you’re happy though? Fed’s looked shaky at times, but he’s holding his own, hanging in there, and that’s all it takes.

FoT Says:

Well, you know I have to put this in since you all are giving credit to Agassi, Rafa, etc.:

Roger Federer established the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003 to help disadvantaged people and to promote sports to youth. “I AM TOMORROW’S FUTURE”

This most confident statement by Nolonwabo Batini, a girl aged fifteen attending the Ndzondelelo High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, is the slogan of the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF). The RFF supports education, sports and leisure activities in places with little or no funding at all. The idea is to permit a maximum of children to make the slogan become reality in their lives and help them actively shape their future.

vared Says:

Does anyone know if ESPN TC or NBC will be showing the Soderling semi? I heard they are only showing the Fed one.

FoT Says:

vared, NBC, I believe will only show ONE (Federer’s match live), but TC will show a replay of both of them later that day.

zola Says:

Hi Ra,
Good to see you posting again.
Sorry about Nadal’s early exit. I can’t say you were my first thought at the end of that match, because as best I can recall my brain shut down for awhile and I’m really not sure what happened next.

I know. It was a shock. But it had to happen one day. I didn’t expect him to go unbeaten in RG forver. But it is still sad. These guys have spoiled us ! But on the bright side he has some restbefore the grass tournaments.

zola Says:


That’s true. I remember reading somewhere that his foundation sponsors thirty something childern in South Africa.

I think Andy Roddick has a charity foundation too. This is great for the sport.

zola Says:

check here:

I think NBC will show the Soderling semi.

Ra Says:


I’m glad you’re learning to live with his ups and downs; not much choice in that, huh? Yeah, I sure wouldn’t have guessed Soderling would be the guy. And even though I had some suspicion that Nadal might lose unexpectedly at some point prior to the finals, I was in disbelief. I could probably have estimated that whatever part of my mind suspected an upset was the same part that maybe doesn’t fully appreciate the worth of sanity.

Yeah, I’m happy that Federer is still in it, but I’m also disappointed that he didn’t have the chance to face Djokovic in the semis or the chance (however slim it might have been) to redeem himself against Rafa for last year’s result.

My thoughts on the upcoming semi are on the respective thread.

Ra Says:


thanks for the warm welcome. Yeah, it had to happen one day. And the thought of him well rested and warming up for the grass season is probably at least as intimidating to some as it is comforting to others. I’ve gotta say, though, outplayed here and there or not, it seems to me that something has been getting to his game for the past few months that I suspect isn’t entirely related to the actual playing of tennis. Or perhaps it is just that whatever adjustments he’s been trying to make in his style haven’t coherently ripened yet, and it only looks to me like it’s something else. Whatever the case may be, I hope he can work through it as he’s among the most inspiring athletes I’ve ever witnessed in any sport.


I apologize for continuing to randomly capitalize your name.

vared Says:

Zola, according to that, NBC is only showing the Fed match. Wonder why? Since Soderling is scheduled first I guess only tennis channel is showing it.

zola Says:

Sorry, I don’t know why I thought tomorrow there will be only one semi!

NBC is crap! They monopolize the coverage and then show just one match. last weekend they showed all the matches with delay !

Tennisfan Says:

I for one think that Djokovic is at least as good as Kohlschreiber :)

FoT Says:

vared – I see nothing wrong with that interview.

Von Says:

vared: Thanks for that link.

“ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s also one of the reasonswhy I was nervous going into this match, because, you know, the whole storiesof, you know, Nadal losing, Murray losing, Djokovic losing, maybe opening upthe draw a little bit.

“Obviously they alsoplay with my mind, even though it doesn’t affect me yet. Now it does because I’m not playing Djokovicbut I’m playing Del Potro. But even thatwould have been an okay draw as well playing Novak. I’ve also had some good success against him.”

Djoko had better beware, Federer knows he’s playing with his mind!

Kimmi Says:

“because as best I can recall my brain shut down for awhile and I’m really not sure what happened next.”

Ra, my brain was swinging that day too, still is when I see soderling. I still cannot understand what he smoked before coming to this match. Has he ever beaten nadal before this FO? The way this guy was hitting the ball, so hard and accurate, even returning with interest the cross court forehands from Nadal ! His movement was so good its unbelievable. Well, his miraculous run here is probably not over. Gonzalez can whack the FH so big but if he is not given the opportunity like Nadal, he might not be able to use it. Soderling is so unpredictable right now, no one knows what he is capable of doing tomorrow..

Von Says:

I don’t know what to think of Serena’s pressers anymore. I think she should avoid lengthy answers and just stick to yes and no. Andything else will bury her deeper.

Shan Says:

Re Ancic – too bad to hear, I enjoyed watching his hardcourt and grass games

Shan Says:

And re Philippoussis….what the?!?! I thought he was not only a tennis star but a reality tv star! How the heck did the well run dry?

Shan Says:

Re Larcher de Brito, this whole shrieking nonsense has to stop being taught at the Bollettieri academy! You can learn to inhale and exhale without screaming – it is REALLY getting to be too much!

It’s annoying when you see shriekers that choose when to shriek, I consider it poor gamesmanship. I.e. sometimes a part time shrieker will shriek a soft touch volley or short groundstroke…NOT RIGHT

zola Says:

OMG! I missed that piece about Ancic. It is too bad. I hope he gets well soon.

According to a study by Rod Cross of Sydney University, the average men’s service speed at the French Open increased 16 MPH in the eight years between 2001 and 2008, from 101 mph to 117 mph. In other words, give me a Babolat with Big Banger so I can toss it up and hit it as hard as I can. That’s an advance of the game?…

This is really funny. Do they need a university study to compare the ball speed at year 2001 and year 2008?

Poor aussie tax payers! oy oy oy….!
Larcher de Brito
=waterboarding ( or worse!)

I can’t watch her.

I wasn’t able to watch Seles. even Venus and Serena are loud but not that high pitched. Sharapova is the next level and now de Brito is pure torture.

Shan Says:

I think Federer is the GOAT when it comes to how he handled his mono after hearing about poor Mario ;)

zola Says:

or maybe Fed had a very rare type of mono!

zola Says:

oops, what happened?
Anyway, Ancic was away for about a year ( or two?) because I think physical activity while having mono can endanger the spleen. He came beck to a couple of tournaments on and off. Started to do better and is affected again. Poor thing!

I think what Fed had was probably not as aggressive as Ancic’s.

vared Says:

It’s all about him. Tooting horns,scooter screaming, adoration as he walks down the street–

I’m delighted to see to whatextent they are supporting me. You know,I feel like they’ve almost adopted me, you know. When I walk onthe streets or drive in the transportation or I go for dinner, everybody islike, This is your year. You’ve got todo it.

They’re screaming fromtheir scooters and out of the car. Theyeven get out at the red lights and want me to sign an autograph or take apicture.

I agreethat many times I had the match on my racquet, like against Murrayin Indian Wells, Djokovic in Miami, and soforth, and also in Rome.I enjoy it, to be honest. They’reall very happy to see me, you know. Ifelt this way now for a couple of years now, and in New York as well where I gotunbelievable, tremendous support. Ithink they really wanted to see me do well, you know, after maybe sort of arocky season last year.

I think they reallywanted me to win the US Open. I felt ita little bit in New York,to be honest.

It’s the “in a row” that seemsincredible to me. Twenty semifinals isincredible, but twenty semifinals in a row? It’s even more incredible, even to me.

Veljko Says:

Serena, I love you the way you are.

Ra Says:

Wait… Federer’s interview is about Federer?! The horror! And his response to being questioned about the French crowd’s interactions with him are about his experience of the French crowd? The nerve! (I could go on, but it’d be pretty tiresome.)

vared Says:

HOw about the crowd is great I love this city, they like me, instead of trumpets blaring, traffic coming to a stop, people falling in the streets over me. :-)

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