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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

Entries in French Open (14)


French Open Cake Contest Winner Chooses Chocolate

French Open men's bracket winner Surinder Singh, triumphant with his chocolate cake.Worthy Opponent and I Hate Tennis' French Open Men's Bracket Cake Contest winner Surinder Singh played a high-percentage move in his cake selection, and went with chcolate.

You can't lose with a chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate ganache frosting.  I put a little chipotle chili powder in the frosting for oomph.

Maybe if I sprinkle some on my tennis racquet....?

Singh reported that the cake was "amazing."  

"I am a chocolate addict and could have had a big slice of that cake every day!" he said.

Haters, my plan is to get Surinder in such a sugar haze that he won't be able to concentrate, and will start missing those lasers down the line that he routinely blows past me at net.

Now, how can I get the cake into my tennis bag?  See more photos in my gallery.



Nadal Wins French Open Championship.  Yawn.

Confidence, here's your yearbook photo: Rafa Nadal and his trophy, taking in Court Philippe Chartrier. He owns this joint. Copyright FFT..

He frequently frustrated Roger Federer during his attempts at history (keep reading, haters).  Now, Rafael Nadal has done it to Novak Djokovic.  He put the kibosh on the Djoker's bid to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four consecutive Slam titles, defeating the No. 1 player in the world 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, in a rain-delayed finish to the French Open.

Click to read more ...


Sharapova Gets Career Slam, Beats Errani for First French Open Championship

Maria's serve has gone from strength to liability to strength: Sharapova hit 6 aces to 0 for Errani. Copyright FFT.

And to think there was a time people thought Maria Sharapova's moment at the top of tennis was over.

Two years after shoulder surgery, and matches where she collected more double faults than endorsements, the statuesque Russian claimed her first French Open championship, beating Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2.  Sharapova now has a career Grand Slam, one of only ten women in history to have won all four majors.  

Click to read more ...


French Open Men's Semis Tomorrow, but I Hate Tennis Cake Winner Declared Tonight

Get yer cake, and beefcake, here: Rafael Nadal, favored to take it all (off?) in French Open. Copyright FFT.

When I wasn't looking, Worthy Opponent Surinder Singh took the I Hate Tennis French Open Cake Contest in the men's bracket.

The Tourneytopia brackets offered online by Tennis Channel are so difficult to navigate, I never found the one for the menfolk that I had set up.  What you can't find, you can't follow. Women's draw cake champ Caitlin Thompson spotted it, and forwarded the link.

It offered redemption for Worthy Opponent Surinder Singh, my frequent doubles buddy, who did poorly in the women's bracket.

Click to read more ...


Thanks to Sharapova's Victory, Caitlin Thompson Wins Cake Contest

WNYC colleague Caitlin Thompson crushes ball, bracket contest, with Sharapova/Errani French Open final.

It will either be Maria Sharapova or Sara Errani hoisting the Muskateers' Cup this Saturday at Roland Garros in Paris.  But we already know who will be lifting the first-ever I Hate Tennis French Open Cake Contest: Caitlin Thompson, editor of WNYC's politics website, It's A Free Country.

My "daft punk" (what does that mean?) colleague emerged victorious over her Thompson Twin, Tam Thomsen, with 135 points.  Thomsen needed Petra Kvitova to final in order to be Queen of the Buttercream.

"Bake me something unconventional," said Thompson. "If you want to go crazy, go for it."

Maybe that's what makes her daft punk.  She'll eat avocado-chocolate cake with foie gras frosting.  Hmmmm.....

Down, but not out: Sara Errani is in the French Open final. Copyright FFT.One of my favorite players to watch -- and listen to -- Sara Errani, grunted and hustled her way past 6th-seed and 2010 finalist Samantha Stosur, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.  

David Sutton, on the Roland Garros website, said the third set was a "titanic struggle":

Every point was worth its weight in gold, and Errani played a flawless seventh game to lead 4-3. A lucky net cord, a double fault and a superb backhand lob brought her two break points, saved by Stosur, but another double brought Errani a third and when Stosur hit wide, the Italian was one game from glory.

Errani kept her nerve to see the match out, wrong-footing her opponent on match point before collapsing to the floor, overcome by the realisation that she had reached her first Grand Slam final.

Errani, who lost to Stosur just a few weeks earlier in Rome, told reporters the keys to the match for her were strong returns of Sam's wicked kick serve, and solid service games of her own.  

She served out the third and deciding set at love.  Wasn't she nervous? a reporter asked:

Yes.  I was very nervous, but on the same time I was really focused on the game.  Maybe she had more pressure.  So I just want to just think about what I had to do."

She said she focused on "put the ball where I want to put."  Sounds simple, right, haters? Put the ball where you want to put.  Not putt.

It's been a banner tournament, and clay court season, for the 25-year-old Italian.  She's also in tomorrow's doubles final with Roberta Vinci.  And she's won three other tournaments on clay.  Sforza, Saretta, sforza!

Glam Slam: Maria Sharapova finals, reclaims #1. Copyright FFT. She will need sforza against Maria Sharapova, who cruised past a misfiring Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-3.  Maria must have savored this one. Kvitova denied her another Wimbledon crown in their championship meet-up last year. 

By reaching the French Open final, Sharapova becomes the best female player in the world. The last time she was called this was 7 long years and a shoulder surgery ago.  A French Open championship would be a huge get for a woman who once said she felt like a "cow on ice" on the red clay.  

What do you think, haters?  Maria, or Sara?  I'm going with Errani in 3.  I like the way she's moving and serving.  In her match with Stosur, she got 86% of her first serves in, compared to Sharapova's 79% against Kvitova.  And Errani loves the net.  She succeeded 71% of the time in her approaches to net, vesus Maria's 50%.  If Errani pulls off some of the drop shots she used to take out Angelique Kerber, Sharapova may start mooing.


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