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Author Topic: Tennis  (Read 5885 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #405 on: May 30, 2008, 04:37:47 AM »

Looks like Roscoe Tanner has fallen on hard times,

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AkHyGh9aj6j2ft_JYeBQn6o4v7YF?slug=ap-tanner-theftcharges&prov=ap&type=lgns

Was it really that long ago that he won the Australian Open?
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aeaton
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« Reply #406 on: June 05, 2008, 11:40:20 PM »

Hey, good for Dinara Safina.  She is focused and steady, even when she messes up.  She said she would be trying to win for Marat as well as for herself.  Isn't that sweet?

Ivanovic is also fun to watch.  Should be a good final.  With Henin, Sharapova and the Williams sisters out of the way, we get to see these nice newcomers.  I'm also fond of Jankovic and hope she fares better at the next few slams.

Monfils is also a joy to watch.  Nadal is out of this world.  Maybe the Djoker will challenge him more than he has been to date.  I wonder if Monfils can do any damage against Roger, who seems more vulnerable than usual.  I doubt it, but it should be fun.  The coverage has not been great, but then I don't have the time to watch full matches.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #407 on: June 06, 2008, 08:09:29 AM »

It has been total Slavic domination in the women's draw this year.  Nice to see Dinara finally come of age.
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Earl
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« Reply #408 on: June 06, 2008, 03:59:09 PM »

You know, I could've sworn I heard on NBC that today's coverage of the Men's semis would begin at 10am in all time zones. That was understandable, I figured. It's gonna be on tape delay anyway and local NBC affiliates across the U.S. want to squeeze in all of their own peppy morning news/entertainment shows in addition to a possibly abbreviated version of The Today Show. So I turn on my TV for the first time today a few minutes before 10am only to find that tennis has already started and that coverage began in Houston at 9am. Great. Ah, well. Got to see the third set of Nadal/Djokovic and looks as if that was the best part of the match.

And as long as I'm complaining, would it have killed NBC to show us just a bit, a tiny sliver, of Federer's win over Monfils? I already knew by the end of NBC's delayed broadcast of the first semi that Federer had won his semi. And I get that Rafa and Novak were the main event of the day. No quarrel with NBC making it their feature match. But how about giving us a couple highlights of The Fed? Even a match point? No? Ok, fine, whatever.

[End of rant]

Nadal is playing some fierce tennis right now. I'd like it if Federer won on Sunday, but I just don't see it happening with Nadal's game flying this high. It's kinda funny to listen to McEnroe strain to describe how much topspin Nadal gets on his forehand. The word "wicked" seems to come up a lot.
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Earl
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« Reply #409 on: June 06, 2008, 04:32:36 PM »

I like both of the Women's finalists and it'll be difficult to pick a favorite. I'm glad I praised Dinara Safina a few weeks back because it makes me seem prescient. Also, it's a joy to see the way Ivanovic hits her forehand. It's a smooth, fluid swing that generates a ton of power and she has such exquisite timing on it.

Like you, Aeaton, I like Jankovic. Not just for her game, but also for the honesty of her emotions both on court and off. After her loss to Ana, she was asked what she'd do and said she'll probably go into the city, have a good dinner and get drunk. Maybe she'll win a major someday, maybe not. But she'll be the life of the tour for a few years.

Strange to think that Ivanovic will be ranked #1 on Monday win or lose. There was a time a few years ago when, due to a quirk in the WTA ranking system, Lindsay Davenport ascended to #1 even though she had not won a major during the preceding 12 months. A few people (including Yours Truly) said that there was something wrong with a system that didn't adequately reward the players who'd won the most important tournaments. And we could see the same development again if Safina wins tomorrow. But this time it's even quirkier because of Henin's sudden withdrawal from atop the ranking's list. She is (at the time of this writing) owner of two of the Slams played during the last 12 months.

How about McEnroe today wondering on the air why Marat Safin and Dinara Safina have different last names even though they are brother and sister? (Carillo explained it to him.) All those years he's been on the tour and travelled the globe? I thought he was a bit more street-wise and world-wise than that.

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aeaton
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« Reply #410 on: June 06, 2008, 11:22:34 PM »

Hi Earl,
Your analysis of the details of players' games is always so succinct and insightful.  I don't always know why I like watching certain players and the way they play.  I think I will be rooting for Safina, but only by a little, because of that lovely play you described of Ivanovic's.  Like her brother, Dinara has a great self deprecating wit.  You gotta love those Safins.

I was so annoyed not to see any Monfils/Federer today.  Monfils took a set off the Fed!  WTF?

Nadal did get some absolutely amazing shots off Djokovic today.  Mary Carillo said he believes he can hit every shot back.  And he practically does it!  What is it about clay that makes him so astonishing?  It's partly the surface, but I think he must feel he owns Roland Garros.  His intimidation factor must be huge.  He plays great on other surfaces but he's in a whole different world on clay and in Paris.  Roger had that at Wimby for a while, but not last year.  I hate to root against Rog, but I'd like to see Nadal do his magic on grass and hard courts too.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #411 on: June 07, 2008, 02:08:54 AM »

Hello earl and aeton, Federer and Nadal meet again.  Will the result be the same or will Federer finally chalk up a French Open title to his credit?  The way Nadal is playing, I would have to say better luck next year, Roger.  Like you, earl, it is fun to see Dinara come into her own, surviving two match points in two matches to reach the finals.  I was also impressed with Marat's run, especially since he had all but retired from the game.  For a moment, I tought he might be able to pull off a Goran Ivanisevic there.
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Earl
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« Reply #412 on: June 07, 2008, 03:59:13 PM »

Hmm, well, should I make a Spanish omelette tomorrow morning or one with Swiss cheese?

It's fun to do the "Breakfast in Paris" thing even though the whole damn thing is a publicity stunt cooked up by NBC a couple decades ago. I usually wake early and go to a nearby French bakery for a croissant to go. (Also a baguette for a sandwich later in the day.) A bottle of Perrier. Pick up the Sunday Times. Maybe see a French movie later in the day. Saw one last weekend. It was Priceless (Hors de Prix) starring one of my favorite actresses, Audrey Tautou, and it took place mostly in the French Riviera. A fun Romantic Comedy. I feel as if I've been spending a lot of time in France lately.

Great match from Ivanovic today. Safina fought well, but was outgunned. I didn't get why Henin was there, though.
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aeaton
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« Reply #413 on: June 07, 2008, 04:23:48 PM »

So nice to have a competitive women's final for once.  Safina fought back 2 match points.  I like both these players and hope Safina can be more consistent than brother Marat!  Great job for Ana.

Henin is assuming the mantle of an old lady after a few weeks of retirement.  Odd.

So I'm watching the brief highlights of the Fed/Monfils match (too little, too late) with my 8 year old daughter and forget to mute at the commercial.  Not really paying attention but then I hear the E word.  An ED commercial at 11:30 am.  So I start humming loud and praying that my daughter doesn't say, Mommy what's an er***tion?  Geez.

It would be crass to say that the sight of Ana Ivanovic ought to be enough to solve this problem.  So I won't.
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Earl
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« Reply #414 on: June 07, 2008, 05:04:20 PM »

So nice to have a competitive women's final for once.  Safina fought back 2 match points.  I like both these players and hope Safina can be more consistent than brother Marat!  Great job for Ana.

Henin is assuming the mantle of an old lady after a few weeks of retirement.  Odd.

So I'm watching the brief highlights of the Fed/Monfils match (too little, too late) with my 8 year old daughter and forget to mute at the commercial.  Not really paying attention but then I hear the E word.  An ED commercial at 11:30 am.  So I start humming loud and praying that my daughter doesn't say, Mommy what's an er***tion?  Geez.

It would be crass to say that the sight of Ana Ivanovic ought to be enough to solve this problem.  So I won't.

Would it be crass for me to say that you may have one too many asterisks in that bolded word and, thus, have made it longer than it would have been normally?

No denying that Ivanovic is cute, but at this young age she seems more like a high school kid than a woman. (I'll take Audrey Tautou anyday, no contest). Ana, though, does have a classically beautiful face which she'll grow into as time goes by. When she reaches her 30's and 40's, I think she'll be even more attractive because of the maturity. Guys will be killin' eachother tryin' to get to her.

Re your last line: as Ana was climbing into the stands after her win, I thought for just a second I saw Ilie Nastase in the crowd as one of the people assisting her. Yep, Ilie would definitely help Ana. At his age he might need the help himself.
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aeaton
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« Reply #415 on: June 08, 2008, 01:29:49 PM »

Poor Rog!  I'm watching last year's Wimby final which I missed last year, and that's redeeming him a little, but how thoroughly demoralizing that thumping must have been.  Wimbledon should be interesting this year!
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aeaton
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« Reply #416 on: June 09, 2008, 08:18:40 AM »

Hi aeaton, how ya doin'?

I love this guy:

“First of all, I don’t prepare my celebrations; I do them as I feel them,” Nadal said. “In the other years I won in four sets, they were closer than this one. This time, there were no moments of maximum tension. And considering my relationship with Roger, it seemed like the right way to go about it.”
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Dzimas
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« Reply #417 on: June 09, 2008, 08:50:46 AM »

Quote
No denying that Ivanovic is cute, but at this young age she seems more like a high school kid than a woman.


at age 20, I imagine Ana thinks of herself as a woman, not a "high school kid."  Looking at her "personal life,"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_Ivanovi%C4%87

She strikes me as a well-rounded young lady.  I think she has a long career in front of her. 
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aeaton
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« Reply #418 on: June 09, 2008, 06:24:40 PM »

hi dzimas, superhero.  I just graduate to full membership.  Yay for me.

I appreciated Earl's assessment of Ana's looks as appreciation of mature female beauty.  Refreshing.  That's not knocking Ana's considerable achievements for a woman of 20.  Thank you both for elevating the conversation!

Earl, I will be more careful of my asterisk count in future.
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Earl
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« Reply #419 on: June 09, 2008, 08:34:38 PM »

hi dzimas, superhero.  I just graduate to full membership.  Yay for me.

I appreciated Earl's assessment of Ana's looks as appreciation of mature female beauty.  Refreshing.  That's not knocking Ana's considerable achievements for a woman of 20.  Thank you both for elevating the conversation!

Earl, I will be more careful of my asterisk count in future.

I'm still wondering what's after "Superhero" status. Has anyone on Elba reached 10,000 posts yet?

No problem with the asterisk miscount as it gave me the opportunity to make a "lengthening" joke.

Anyway, what to say after yesterday's steamrolling? There were two excellent remarks about Nadal's game spoken on NBC yesterday. One was by Federer himself right afterward (*more on that in a minute) when talking to McEnroe on court: "Once Rafa gets you in his grip, he doesn't let go." This conjured in my mind an image of an anaconda. Mary Carillo also summed up Nadal's game and personality well: "His tennis is arrogant, but he isn't."

Nadal didn't lose a set the whole tournament. Saw in today's paper that out of the 21 total sets he played, 12 of them were won by scores of 6-0 or 6-1. Two of those came against Federer. Astonishing.

*Am I the only one who sorely missed the presence of Bud Collins, both Saturday and Sunday, doing the post-match interviews with the finalists? I'd seen him on ESPN a couple times during the tournament, and yet it completely slipped my mind that NBC had let him go last year. When Carillo was on court to interview Safina and Ivanovic it suddenly hit me that Bud wouldn't be there. I missed him even more on Sunday. It's not that McEnroe did a bad job, really. But he's a former player himself and he seemed to be commiserating with Federer more than interviewing him. Collins, however, with his reporter's instincts, would likely have started off with, "Roger, it was 3-all in the second set and you had a break point on Rafa's serve to go up a break. You lost it and didn't win another game the rest of the match. What happened?" He would have gone right for the moment on which the whole match pivoted. He would have gone for the story.
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