Blog Index
Follow Me
Hate Tennis, Like My Blog!

I'm Following
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 Olympics 2012 (4)


Exhausted Olympians Dropping Like Flies at Rogers Cup

Screaming in pain? Who knows, it's Victoria Azarenka. Courtesy AP.Victoria Azarenka won gold in mixed doubles and bronze in singles last week in the London Olympics, turning her knees to tin for this week's Rogers Cup in Montreal.  She withdrew from the tournament, citing a knee injury.

She was tied, 3-3, in her second-round match against Tamira Paszek when it was suspended by rain.  That must have given her the chance to realize just how spent she was.

"I have to kind of stop and just take a little bit of time off because I absolutely had no rest for a long period of time," said Vika.  She's skipping the Western and Southern Open next week in Cincinnati, to rest up for the US Open.

Going down swinging, and swigging Pepto Bismol. Maria out with tummy ache. Courtesy AP. She joins Olympic silver medalist Maria Sharapova on the sidelines.  Sharapova withdrew Wednesday because of a virus.  She's also bypassing Cincy.  And 4th seed Samantha Stosur will find no redemption for her surprise first round ouster at the London Games.  She was booted by 16th seed Luci Safarova in two close sets, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) in the Round of 16.   

The top men are also in a post-London fog.  Gold medal winner Andy Murray pulled out yesterday, saying he had a knee injury.  Roger Federer withdrew a week ago.  "After a long stretch of tournaments, I'll need some time to recover," he said at the time.

And this was before he played in the Olympic championship final against Murray.

Rafael Nadal has been home in Spain with his feet up since Wimbledon (the Slam, not the Olympics; the defending 2008 gold medalist didn't defend his title, out with knee tendonitis). So defending Rogers Cup champ Novak Djokovic is all alone in Canada.  He and Tommy Haas were on serve in the deciding third set of their quarterfinal match at the time I was writing this in the late, late hours of Friday night.  Would love to watch it, but even has gone to bed.

Olympic exhaustion and injury will be the corrosive threads in the warp and weave of the hard court season.  It will play a factor at the US Open.  I think there could be early round upsets and injury retirements for some of the top seeds.  

Keep that in mind when you make up your I Hate Tennis US Open Cake Brackets in a few weeks, Haters!



Murray Cleans Federer's Clock, Gets Olympic Gold

Great Scot! Murray, in Wimby final rematch, beats Federer, wins Olympic gold. Courtesy TwitPic.Four weeks ago, Andy Murray was in tears on Centre Court at Wimbledon.  He had just lost the championship to Roger Federer in four sets.
"I'm getting closer," he choked, eliciting huge applause from his fellow Brits in the stands.
Murray got closer still to a Grand Slam title by winning an Olympic gold medal on Centre Court in a rematch of the Wimbledon final, thrashing the number one player in the world and greatest of all time in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.
Nothing Federer did could blunt Murray's focus. His backhand slice had no bite. His first serve percentage flagged.  Fed looked like a 31-year-old on the grass, lunging for shots, getting passed at net, missing pickup shots that, for the Greatest of All Time, are usually routine.  He could not get to Murray's deep groundstrokes to the corners, swatting at them lamely with his racquet.  He doubled faulted at 30-40 to give Murray a 4-0 lead in the third set.  It was weird to see him so powerless. 
Murray, meanwhile, was nearly flawless.  He coolly hit three consecutive aces to close out the third set, and the match.
Murray clearly benefitted from playing in the same venue, in front of a British crowd, just four weeks earlier.  "Ivan Lendl told me that I'd never play under more pressure than in a Wimbledon final," he told NBC's John McEnroe.  "I didn't feel that nervous."

Serena Completes Career Golden Slam, Says Disneyworld is Next

Why does everyone bite their trophies? Serena clamps down on gold after chewing up Maria Sharapova. Courtesy Associated Press.It wasn't much of a championship match.  Serena Williams took just 64 minutes to beat down Maria Sharapova in the Olympics women's singles championship match, 6-0, 6-1.  

By winning, she became the second woman in history to win all four Slams and an Olympic gold medal, a Career Golden Grand Slam.  Steffi Graf was the first, securing a gold medal in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

"I didn't expect this. I can't even... oh my gosh. I have a gold medal in singles, oh my gosh," Williams gushed in her on-court interview. "I got the gold. I'm just so happy. I don't know what to do."

Really, Serena?  You didn't expect this?  Well, everyone else did.  The WTA's website summed it up pretty well:

She has now won 34 of her last 35 matches; she has now won her last 13 matches against Top 5 players, 12 of those wins coming in straight sets; she now has 44 WTA titles, passing Venus Williams for most among active players and now a standalone No.10 all-time.

"Who, me? A gold medalist? Shucks!"  Here's where I wish Serena would cut the crap and be a little more Roger Federesque: "I played brilliantly out there.  I'm really impressed by all the amazing shots I made.  I took my own breath away."

Serena on the war path. Courtesy Associated Press.

Williams, who also has two doubles gold medals with sister Venus (in 2000 in Sydney and 2008 in Beijing), told reporters, "Now I have everything, literally. I have everything there is to win in tennis. Where do I go from here?"

Wait for it.......wait for it.....

Now I can go to Disneyworld."

Silver medalist Maria Sharapova. Courtesy Associated Press.Poor Maria must have felt like Minnie Mouse out there on Centre Court at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club.   Williams bombed 24 winners and hit just 7 unforced errors.  Ten of those winners were aces.  Numbers 9 and 10 were the last two points of the match.  Now that's confidence.

Sharapova saw it that way, too.  "Serena was playing incredibly confident tennis today," she told reporters. "There are always things you think you could have done better, but my opponent just played too well today; she was too quick and too powerful. She wasn't making many mistakes either."

Sharapova said she'll try again in 4 years in Rio.  "I want that gold medal!"


Imagining Shirtless Men's Tennis

If the ATP tour would sanction shirtless play, tennis tournaments may look more like this: from left, Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens cheer as Michael Phelps closes in on gold. Courtesy Daily News.Tennis matches are being played during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but who can concentrate when there's men's swimming to ogle?

Click to read more ...