This story was just too good to pass up. In this hyper-intensive information age thanks to the internet, the private lives of celebrities are no longer private – just ask Tiger Woods, listen to this! – but I still try to show some minimal respect to the personal matters of the tennis players. But this time I can’t.
It’s been revealed that Andy Murray’s girlfriend of many years, Kim Sears, left him because he was playing too much Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on the Playstation. Now that’s a new one in the celebrity circles, leaving your guy because he spends too much time on the PS3, and in Murray’s case it was up to seven hours a day!
Video games are a blast. And I admit even I’ve played Modern Warfare 2 and the game lives up to the hype: The graphics and gameplay are jaw-dropping. But if you are a top tennis player trying to win your home London year-end championships and trying to chase down Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the rankings (did I mention that you haven’t won a Slam yet?), you are not helping your cause by spending up to seven hours or more a day smoking the bad guys. Sorry, Playstation is not the path to tennis immortality. Halo immortality, maybe, not tennis!
Luckily for Murray, he’s got lots in the bank and he stays at nice hotels in exotic locales, because without that “bait”, it’s tough for a guy like him with a video game addiction to land girls like Kim Sears.
I know Murray has quite the entourage – is it double figures yet? – though clearly not enough because someone on his crew needs to have the courage to yank the controller away, it’s not helping.
In his defense, Murray is now rumored to be dating Miss Scotland. Hope she’s a gamer! Whoosh!
Serena Williams has also been under fire since her US Open incident. Now, nearly three months later, the ITF has finally ruled handing Serena an $82,500 fine and two years of probation. The fine amounts to about 15% of her singles prize money for her semifinal run in NY which really isn’t much.
Overall the decision is a copout and falls perfectly in line with the “star rules” applied in many other sports. Had this been a fringe or a lower ranked player, she would have been defaulted from the tournament (meaning no doubles either and forfeit of all prize money & points) and likely suspended. But because it’s Serena officials needed to tread oh so cautiously because no one wants to upset the biggest name in women’s tennis. And in the end the ruling amounts to a slap on the wrist and it’s much ado about nothing. Tennis officials had a chance to show some brass, and they didn’t. Move on…
Back to on the court action, I have to credit Nikolay Davydenko for blitzing the field at the ATP World Finals this weekend. After 12 misses, Davy finally got over on Federer Saturday (I wonder how many times Roger has thought about the sitter forehand he missed with Davy serving 4-5, 0-30 in the third!) outlasting the Swiss in a thriller. Then he basically pummeled Juan Martin Del Potro in the final for his biggest career win. Good for him.
For me the biggest takeway for the Finals, though, is not Davydenko’s performance. I really don’t think the Russian will suddenly start winning Slams or even reaching those finals. Heck, this may be the start of his downfall should he become content with the new influx of cash in his wallet. I hope not. What stood out to me was just how well DelPo played – remember he didn’t look too good coming into the tournament – and just how poor Rafa and at times Novak and Murray looked.
After London I see a lot of people jumping on the DelPo bandwagon, and with good reason: Could the Argentine be the next new No. 1 ahead of Djokovic and Murray?
As for Rafa, while Novak and Murray end the year on a down note, the former No. 1 can salvage what was a poor second half of the season with a win this weekend in Davis Cup. The Spanish team of Nadal, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez will play host Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek and the rest of the Czech squad in the finals.
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