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Meltdown of the Week


Players know Serena Williams will kick their ass if they try to get in the way between her and a Grand Slam trophy.  Little did Eva Asderaki know this includes umpires.  Asderaki got her butt verbally kicked after she penalized Williams a point against Samantha Stosur in the 2010 US Open championship.  Williams, down a set, had screamed, "C'mon!" while blasting a forehand to break Stosur in the first game of the second set.  Asderaki ruled it a hinderance.

Nothing hindered Serena during the changeover.

Watching this, I know why Serena became a certified nail technician.  It makes your hands so much prettier when you're making those "talk to the hand" moves.


On the Sideline

Western Grip Seen in Western Art

Detail from Balthus' "The Street." Training for the men's or women's tour? Can't decide.

I think of the rise of extreme grips like the Western grip used by Rafael Nadal and Dinara Safina as recent developments in the modern game.

Here's proof that it was around as early as 1933, at least in France. That's when French painter Balthus created "The Street." This budding tennis player is one of several strange figures in the painting.

Check out that grip! And how she's pointing to the oncoming ball with her non-racquet hand! She's even got her weight on her back foot, ready to release into the shot as she follows through.

All she needs is some strings in her racquet and a ball with some bounce left in it and it's game on.

Here's the bigger picture, without glass glare.

 "The Street" by Balthus. Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

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