Mother Nature v Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas

Posted on March 4, 2006

It began with intermittent sprinkles, and by nightfall featured a wind-chill in the 40s and winds approaching 30 miles an hour, making things difficult for night competitors the Bryan Brothers and James Blake, who both posted wins into the semifinals Friday at the weather-challenged Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas.

The Tennis Channel itself featured footage of the freaks and geeks featured in the World Air Hockey Championships Friday, highlighting "world-ranked players from the Major League Air Hockey Association," many of whom glanced knowingly into the camera during coverage of their sport, revelling in the international breakthrough and undoubted future sponsorship potential.

Thomas Blake, fellow ATP pro (now retired) with brother James, also finished second in the Wilson World Stringing Championships Friday, finishing 2 min., 31 sec. behind heat winner Scott Schneider.

Blake was rooted on by the UNLV cheerleading team standing behind him, with high fives to the entire squad after narrowing pulling out the second-place finish.

In the Paddle Tennis Championships on-site, new paddle tennis star Gael "Force" Monfils of France followed up his win over the world No. 1-ranked player Thursday with a three-set comeback win (bagel win in the second set) on Friday over Dana Treister to reach the semifinals.

Monfils' coach, Thierry Champion, was happy to report that he had reached the paddle tennis mixed doubles semifinals, simultaneously notifying people that there was a paddle tennis mixed doubles.

The weather is forecasted to warm over the weekend, with reported snow on the horizon for next week in Vegas. Vegas baby -- bring a jacket.