Tennis-X Notes: ‘Dominant’ Williams, Cocaine-kissed Gasquet

by Staff | August 28th, 2009, 11:42 pm


WHICH WILLIAMS SISTERS ARE YOU WATCHING? — Wall Street Journal with the headline “Advantage, Williams: As they enter the U.S. Open, Venus and Serena are stronger, faster and more focused than ever. How they came back from years of inconsistency to dominate the sport” by Matthew Futterman. Wha? Dominate the sport? Neither are No. 1 ranked; between Wimbledon and the US Open Venus had a 5-3 win-loss record with no titles, and Serena was 6-3 with no titles. Domination!

BLAKE GOES SERENA MODE — From the Connecticut Post: “NEW HAVEN — The sun was lost behind a sweltering wall of humidity as the clock ticked slowly past 11:30 in the morning on Stadium Court at the Connecticut Tennis Center…[Mardy] Fish was here, practicing for the upcoming Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, while his good friend [James] Blake, from nearby Fairfield, was just practicing, period. Commitments for his upcoming new clothing line, along with other appearances he’s scheduled to make next week in New York, are preventing him from playing in the tournament he’s won twice and created a fan phenomenon — the J Block — in the process. For Fish, who lost to Blake in the 2007 Pilot Pen finals, there are no commitments for clothing lines, no personal appearances, just tennis. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why Fish is climbing up the rankings ladder and Blake is going in the opposite direction…Blake pointed a finger at the ATP, blaming the schedule — there are 1000 Masters Series events (which are mandatory for Blake) in Montreal and Cincinnati before New Haven — as reasons for his inability to include the Pilot Pen on his calendar. However, in both 2007 and 2006, Blake played Montreal, Cincinnati and New Haven back-to-back-to-back before heading to the Open.”…

BOOTY BLOG — From the blog of ATP doubles player Eric Butorac: “It was the talk of the tourney at Indy last week [the World Team Tennis altercation between Leander Paes and Robert Kendrick] and I heard the story from Chuck Adams directly (the coach you see arguing with Paes on the court). He said that Paes announced the point before he hit Kendrick that “someone was gonna get hurt out here.” But apparently Kendrick was quietly calling Paes “slumdog” during the match, which is a little out of line. Also, I guess Kendrick told McEnroe that he was “serving body…Paes’ body” before he served. Not the best way to get tennis on TV, but they say any publicity is good publicity.”…

PULLS: Dominika Cibulkova withdrew from US Open with a rib injury…

It is sad when you have to go to Wikipedia to find a champions list for the WTA New Haven event because the WTA Tour website is so bad…

QUALIE LOSER — Frenchman Richard Gasquet, trying to rebound from his “cocaine kiss” ban-then-reinstatement, played the qualies in New Haven and failed to reach the main draw. “Physically, I was really tired because I stopped playing for two months and didn’t touch a racket,” Gasquet said. “I’m up here trying to practice for the US Open, and I’ll prepare harder next time,” Gasquet said. “I changed my life after that thing, so it’s hard for me to come back, and just to have been able to play tennis was good.” — Good luck against Rafa in the first round at the Open…

Andy Roddick on the height advantage of rising Americans such as John Isner and Sam Querrey: “If you just look back to the average height of a player now as opposed to 20 years ago, I was tall when I came on tour, and I think I’m extremely average now as far as height goes. So it’s going to be a big factor, especially for John, because he’s like Sasquatch tall as opposed to extremely tall. The thing that’s going to help Sam is he actually moves really well for someone who is (6-6). If they can develop that side of the game it’s only going to help them more. You can’t teach 6-7 or 6-10, but you can teach someone how to move better.”…

American Alison Riske has turned pro and will not be attending Vanderbilt. She lost in three sets to Yulia Fedossova of France in the first round of US Open qualifying after suffering from cramps…

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15 Comments for Tennis-X Notes: ‘Dominant’ Williams, Cocaine-kissed Gasquet

margot Says:

I wonder why Gasquet stopped practising for two months. If he was innocent he must have had a belief that he would be able to return? Such a talent, such a backhand but he’s becoming a contender for the Nalbandian trophy.

Nalbandian Trophy Says:

Thanks for the mention.

Skorocel Says:

“Wha? Dominate the sport? Neither are No. 1 ranked; between Wimbledon and the US Open Venus had a 5-3 win-loss record with no titles, and Serena was 6-3 with no titles. Domination!”

They’re holding 3 out of 4 slams as of now (having played 4 Wimby finals against each other + another 4 on other grandslams), and are still beating almost everyone when it REALLY matters, so why not? Honestly, if the fate of the manking had depended on the outcome of just one single tennis match, who would you put there? As much as I don’t like their style of play, it would be the sisters. No Henin, no Clijsters, no Sharapova…

Skorocel Says:

correction: “having played” should read “had played”

Colin Says:

Who’s “the manking”?

Veno Says:

Lol Colin, cracked me up!

Dan Martin Says:

Isner vs. Haas was a good win for Isner in Cincy but I noticed anytime he even got a return in play if Haas hit even a remotely decent ground stroke with direction, Haas won the point. Now unlike other players Isner was winning more points on serve, but also losing points that would generally just be a rally.

scineram Says:

Amen on WTA site.

What was Gasquet thinking? Maybe that there would be a longer ban.

Von Says:

“And maybe, just maybe, that’s why Fish is climbing up the rankings ladder and Blake is going in the opposite direction…Blake pointed a finger at the ATP, blaming the schedule —”

I think the reason Fish and Querrey (even though Sam isn’t mentioned here) are climbing in the rankings is due to the help they’re given by the USTA’s coaching staff. James, on the other hand, is stagnant with his coach Brian Barker, and will remain that way if the relationship continues. Blake needs to hear a fresh voice to instill new ideas in his mind, and Barker is not the one who’ll be providing that kind of inspiration.

Dan Martin Says:

Querrey would be a huge story if this were a country with a larger focus on tennis in the media. A title in LA, finals in Newport, Indianapolis and New Haven. This is not exactly Masters Series or slam level success, but Sam is putting himself in a nice position to just go after computer points in the indoor season and first hard court season of 2010 as he has banked plenty in the North American stretch.

I am not jingoistic in my tennis rooting interests, but Sam is playing like a top 20 player and that is nice to see from a U.S. standpoint as he can help market many events held in the U.S. next year. I doubt he stiffs both Newport and Indy next Summer. Depending on Wimbledon he might play both.

blah Says:

nice fight Querrey put up against Verdasco. Down the stretch his inexperience showed. He just needs more years on tour, he’ll keep getting better.

blah Says:

As for Gasquet, he has great natural talent, but I don’t think he got as close as Nalbandian in terms of accomplishments, so the Nalbandian trophy would probably have to go to someone else. As for not practicing, I think he needed a break away from tennis anyway. It’s obvious that the issue with him is in his head, (and perhaps that loopy forehand.)

-And he didn’t pull out of USO last year, he lost to Haas in 5 sets.

As for American players, Blake is done, Fish and Querrey are fun to watch, but right now there is no one who can pick up the top spot after Roddick.

margot Says:

Hey Nalbandian Trophy, my pleasure you’ve been out of the limelight far too long. In fact here on Tennisx I thought we might have a few nominations as to whose gonna lift you this year. On the other hand, perhaps just b4 the USOpen is not right timing….should we leave it for the silly season?
blah: so true, Gasquet has many, many years left in which to achieve zilch and Nalbandian has, on occasion, proved what a fabulous talent he has and delivered, so perhaps the trophy should be re-named?

Andrew Miller Says:

Blake has played poorly for 2 straight years – he had a momentary lift after beating Federer at the Olympic games, and it’s been doldrums since that point.

He has got to see reality: his falling ranking reflects the state of his game. His game needs work. Andy Roddick figured that out and kept figuring it out (first, that Tarik was a good coach, but Gilbert was better; second, Brad Gilbert made Roddick mentally tough but not physically tough – Roddick had no “Gil Reyes” in his corner like Agassi had when Gilbert was in his “camp”; third, coach Brad was good but not great – Roddick was not improving; fourth, Connors made him fight harder but was not a premier coach – Roddick continued to fight hard and maintained his ranking, but was not a better player; and now, with one of the best coaches of the modern era in his corner, Roddick has improved).

Improvement is the name of the game. Federer got better this year – so did Roddick. Nadal is a big believer in improvement. For all of Djokovic’ withdrawls, even he is aware that he must be a better player.

Blake has not shown any improvement – his game looks the worst it has in YEARS. (Four years to me).

So if other players are getting better, and Blake is getting worse, it’s going to translate into bad results.

Andrew Miller Says:

In other words, I want James Blake to win a grand slam title (At this point I’ll take another Roddick slam or a Blake slam).

But it’s not happenning: there are no indications that James Blake will ever win a grand slam tournament.

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