Tennis-X Notes: Becker has ‘Playa’ Admiration for Tiger Woods
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YOU THE MAN, TIGER — Boris Becker knows it ain’t easy being a pimp. The German former No. 1, who famously sired one of his children while cheating on his wife in the staircase at a restaurant, said in a German television interview (is there admiration in this statement?) that he was amazed at Tiger’s multi-tasking skills. “I was shocked by the dimensions, the frequency,” Becker said. “All the things he would have had to cover up, just logistically — how did he manage to do it? He must constantly be changing phones to cover up his tracks.” From one playa to another — big ups! Whoot Whoot! “I experienced basically the same thing,” Becker said, “and can sympathize with him.”
U.S. DAVIS CUP AWAY = CLAY — The U.S. Davis Cup The United States will face Serbia and Novak Djokovic in the opening round of the 2010 Davis Cup, and the home Serbs have chosen — surprise, surprise — the equivalent of American Kryptonite, indoor red clay. The tie will take place on March 5-7, 2010, at the 20,000-seat Belgrade Arena. Andy Roddick will have his hands full for the U.S., which may introduce Sam Querrey as the No. 2 singles player after the fall-off of the career of James Blake, who nevertheless has a losing career record in live Davis Cup singles matches on red clay. Spain (Rafael Nadal) will also host Switzerland (Roger Federer) in the opening round.
BRYANS DROP ADIDAS FOR K-SWISS — Bob and Mike Bryan have switched to K-Swiss after 12 years with Adidas as their footwear and apparel sponsor. “The interesting story here is how Adidas is pulling out of U.S. tennis,” said John Tobias, reported by the SportsBusiness Journal. “K-Swiss is seeing a real void. They really look at this as there is a real opportunity to dominate a sport in the world’s largest market.” Adidas representatives disagreed they are “pulling out of U.S. tennis,” with their most recent signee being Brit Andy Murray.
USTA SAVES US OPEN SERIES EVENT — Props to the USTA for using its clout to save one of the US Open Series events on the men’s tour. The ATP bought the Indianapolis event’s sanction, but then instead of allowing another city to bid for it, cancelled the event, wiping it off the ATP calendar. The USTA then used its leverage to get the tournament sanction transferred to Atlanta, which will now be the first stop on the 2010 US Open Series of events following Wimbledon. “We are very pleased with the ATP board’s decision to award this event to Atlanta,” said Lucy S. Garvin, USTA chairman of the board and president. “A healthy professional tennis schedule in the U.S. sparks interest in the game and helps us to fulfill our mission of growing the sport on every level.”
GASQUET CLEARED — ‘Some girl with coke on her lips must have kissed me.’ That was the explanation given by French player Richard Gasquet when he tested positive for a minute amount of cocaine, and it worked. Gasquet has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which accepted his claim that he tested positive for cocaine by kissing a woman in a nightclub. The World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Tennis Federation requested that Gasquet be banned for up to two years, but the Frenchman is now in the clear. Wow.
HENIN DEBUT — Former No. 1 Justine Henin will kick off her tennis un-retirement at the WTA Sydney International in January. The Aussie Open warm-up event will feature nine of the Top 10-ranked players. “I have a lot of happy memories of Sydney and have won the title three times, so I am looking forward to returning in January as part of my preparation for the Australian Open,” the Belgian said. “The women’s draw is very impressive and it will be great to get some tough, competitive matches.” Henin won the event as recently as 2008 before announcing her retirement that year prior to the French Open.
SERENA SAYS ‘I WAS RIGHT’ — Serena Williams was named the 2009 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She also took the opportunity to say she was ‘right’ when she exploded all over a linesperson at the US Open this year. “People realize that I’m a great player, and one moment doesn’t define a person’s career,” Williams told the AP. “And I was right, for the most part: It wasn’t right the way I reacted — I never said it was — but I was right about the call.” — Our bad, we thought you thought the way you reacted was right when it took you three tries to offer an apology for the incident. Finishing second in the voting to Serena was a horse. Runner-up was Zenyatta, who became the first female horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
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