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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 Roger Federer (5)


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."

Federer Denies Murray to Claim 7th Wimbledon Trophy

The magic of a 7th Wimby win: Federer's head turns into a trophy. Courtesy AELTC.

He did it again.  At 30 years of age.  Roger Federer used his serve and forehand to push away a newly aggressive Andy Murray to win the Wimbledon men's championship, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

With his victory, he reclaims a once-familiar spot: world number 1. And he ties his idol Pete Sampra's record of 7 victories at tennis' premier tournament.

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Federer Reaches Record 8th Wimbledon Final

Under that cool exterior, he cares. A lot. Courtesy AELTC.Another match, another record for the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time.  Roger Federer calmly dispatched defending champ, top seed and world number 1 Novak Djokovic under a closed roof at Wimbledon's Centre Court, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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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.

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Escape Artists: Djokovic and Federer Through After Five-Setters

Speak up, Nole, I can't hear you: "I WON!"

I'd be screaming into the fist mic, too, if I fended off 4 match points to advance to the French Open semifinals.

World number 1 Novak Djokovic had plenty to roar about in his thrilling, five-set instant classic against crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-1.

Djokovic came out strong, taking the first set in 21 minutes and going up, 4-2, in the second, before Tsonga woke up from his on court nap and remembered that he was playing in his home country's presitious Slam.  Time to make the donuts.

And he did.  Jo-Willy started hitting winners, and coming to net more.  Tsonga's got great feel at net, and for the match, he won 65% of his net opportunities to Djokovic's 58%. He took the 2nd and 3rd sets, and was poised to take everything in the tenth game of the 4th set, when Djokovic dug deep.

Here's how The New York Times' Christopher Clarey described it: 

One point from elimination at 4-5, 15-40, in the fourth set, Djokovic transformed a bold backhand passing shot from Tsonga into a crisp volley winner. Down, 4-5, 30-40, he hit a big first serve and forehand winner.

Down, 5-6, 30-40, in his next service game, he hit a second serve, kept the ball deep and was rewarded with a forehand error from Tsonga. Down, 5-6, ad-out, he pushed forward again and repelled Tsonga’s fourth match point with an overhead.

Djokovic won the 4th set tiebreak, leaving Tsonga tugging at his Mohawk and muttering to himself. A little more than a half hour later, the Frenchman was hiding under his towel and crying while Djokovic was awash in relief.

Tsonga, according to the Times, said he felt "fatigue, frustraion, disappointment."

You go a bit through all the feelings. You want to break all your rackets. You want to shout. You want to cry. You want to laugh, saying, ‘This has to be a joke, how did I manage to lose this match?’ You want to wake up."

He'll wake up tomorrow, remembering he played the best tennis of his career, yet blew 4 chances for a historic win against a guy who's trying to be the first man since 1969 to take all four Slam championships in a row.  

Tsonga said it best: "That's tennis."

Special delivery from the FedExpress: his 31st Slam semifinal, tying Jimmy Connor's record. Copyright FFT.

Novak Djokovic now faces 16-time Slam winner Roger Federer, in a rematch of their 2011 French Open semifinal.  Fed is 14-11 against the Djoker, but the Serb has won their last two meetings, in the US Open semifinal last year and the semi in Rome last month.  

Federer did his own Houdini act, wiggling out of a 2-set hole against Juan Martin del Potro, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3.  Del Potro seemed hampered by a balky left knee that has been bothering him since the beginning of the tournament, but he told reporters later his knee wasn't a factor.  He said it was his serve.

"If I serve bad against Federer or the top guys, you don't have too many chance to win points," said del Po.

I don't know what he was talking about.  His first serve percentage was 59% to Fed's 58%. He won 74% of points when he got his first serve in, while Roger collected 69%.  But Federer had a lot of easy points on his serve, racking up 11 aces to del Po's 6.  And Federer hit 59 winners to JMdP's measly 33.

Del Potro said he's just happy to have made it this deep into the French Open, and to take some sets off of the Greatest of All Time -- something he hasn't done in two years.

"So when I win sets, when I win games against big players, against those who have a better ranking than mine, there's always something to learn," he said.

There is positive and negative, and I have to work on the negative aspects."