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Author Topic: Tennis  (Read 5156 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #420 on: June 10, 2008, 07:39:53 AM »

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

Congrats!

With a few adjustments, I think Nadal can take Federer at Wimbledon and finally achieve the number one ranking.  Nadal appears to be in absolute top form.  It was a bit odd to me that Federer was seeded #1 at Roland Garros given he has yet to beat Nadal at the French Open.  Fed deserves the #1 seeding at Wimbledon but not the French Open.

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

I think whiskeypriest labeled it something like a super waste of time.  I find myself a bit embarrassed that have so many posts to my credit.  Spending entirely too much time in these forums.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 08:24:44 AM by Dzimas » Logged
sgrobin
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« Reply #421 on: June 11, 2008, 09:37:42 AM »

Hi guys,

I hate to root against Rog, but I'd like to see Nadal do his magic on grass and hard courts too.

AE, agreed.  At the risk of writing the obvious, it seems that Nadal is much closer to a Wimbledon championship than Roger is to a French Open.  As an avowed Sampras fan, I am guiltily enjoying Roger’s travails on clay; it just shows how difficult it is to get a career slam, especially for non-baseliners.  And yes, a kudo to Agassi for doing it.

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.

Hey Hamlet, remember when we (and AE and CB I believe) had a discussion about that movie L’Auberget Espagnole (too lazy to check my spelling)? That Ali Farka Toure song that I put on the tennis mix from a few years ago was inspired by the movie.  Anyway, this completely avoided my radar until last night, but did you know that there was a sequel called Russian Dolls?  It was on the Independent Film Channel last night, along with L’Auberget.  I recorded both and will have to watch them soon.

*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 don’t watch nearly as much tennis as I used to, but I really miss him.  His quirkiness used to drive me nuts when I was young (and conservative), but as I grew up I began to appreciate him. 

Greetings, Dzimas.


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Earl
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« Reply #422 on: June 12, 2008, 08:28:20 PM »

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

Congrats!

With a few adjustments, I think Nadal can take Federer at Wimbledon and finally achieve the number one ranking.  Nadal appears to be in absolute top form.  It was a bit odd to me that Federer was seeded #1 at Roland Garros given he has yet to beat Nadal at the French Open.  Fed deserves the #1 seeding at Wimbledon but not the French Open.

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

I think whiskeypriest labeled it something like a super waste of time.  I find myself a bit embarrassed that have so many posts to my credit.  Spending entirely too much time in these forums.

Hey, DZ!

The French Open goes strictly by the rankings list when it is time for them to announce their seeds. In fact, Wimbledon is the only one of the four majors which deviates from the rankings list to determine their seedings. They take into account a player's history on grass. But they don't deviate too much from the rankings, though. If I recall correctly, I think they have (or used to have) a policy of not moving a player more than five places in the seedings up or down from where he/she is ranked. It's puzzling why the French Open does not also do this. The surface definitely does change things a bit. Although, it's worth noting that the three top-ranked men in the world all made the semis in Paris like they were supposed to. And then the top two guys made the final like they were supposed to. But in a stunning upset (according to the Roland Garros seedings committee, that is) the #2 seed downed the #1 seed.

I have to wonder if the dearth of grass-court events along with the abundance of clay-court ones gives the false impression that Nadal is inches away from snatching the "King of the Universe" title from Federer. Roger has so little time to shine on his best surface. he hasn't lost a grass-court match in four or five years, a stunning achievement in any era.

I know whiskeypriest just a little bit from another forum we both visit. I like his line about the post count.
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Earl
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« Reply #423 on: June 12, 2008, 08:45:41 PM »

Hi guys,

I hate to root against Rog, but I'd like to see Nadal do his magic on grass and hard courts too.

AE, agreed.  At the risk of writing the obvious, it seems that Nadal is much closer to a Wimbledon championship than Roger is to a French Open.  As an avowed Sampras fan, I am guiltily enjoying Roger’s travails on clay; it just shows how difficult it is to get a career slam, especially for non-baseliners.  And yes, a kudo to Agassi for doing it.

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.

Hey Hamlet, remember when we (and AE and CB I believe) had a discussion about that movie L’Auberget Espagnole (too lazy to check my spelling)? That Ali Farka Toure song that I put on the tennis mix from a few years ago was inspired by the movie.  Anyway, this completely avoided my radar until last night, but did you know that there was a sequel called Russian Dolls?  It was on the Independent Film Channel last night, along with L’Auberget.  I recorded both and will have to watch them soon.

*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 don’t watch nearly as much tennis as I used to, but I really miss him.  His quirkiness used to drive me nuts when I was young (and conservative), but as I grew up I began to appreciate him. 

Greetings, Dzimas.




Hi, SG!

Yes, I did see Russian Dolls and enjoyed it very much as a sequel. But it wouldn't stand on its own very well. One has to have seen L'Auberge Espagnole to be able to appreciate Russian Dolls. The second movie picks up the same group of characters five years after the events of the first movie have concluded.

I was glad to see that Collins found TV work right away on ESPN. In the few matches that I caught during the FO, he was doing courtside work for them. And he likely will at Wimbledon, too. But the fact that NBC has the finals means that we won't see him in his crazy pants doing the post-finals interviews.

It's not so much that I'd like to see if Nadal can do better on this or that surface, but rather, if he'll do better in the second half of the year. For the last couple of years he's done extremely well right up until the Wimby final, then he seems to fade the rest of the year and get plagued by injuries. Meanwhile, Federer has been staying mostly healthy and taking care of business in the second half.
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sgrobin
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« Reply #424 on: June 13, 2008, 01:44:15 PM »

Hey Hamlet,

Thanks for the info about Russian Dolls.  I've been sort of out of touch with movies, what with three local Blockbuster stores closing recently and the inability of my wife and me (or is it I?) to agree on movies to watch.  We just got upgraded service so now I get these channels that I didn't get previously, so now I can watch both L'Auberget and Dolls. 

Speaking of upgraded service, we just started getting the Tennis Channel.  Which means our nightly  HGTV vs. VH1 Classic debate (after Olbermann or Daily Show/Colbert Report) can take on a new dimension. 

I finally got around to buying some new tennis rackets.  I had been playing with an old club by Dunlop that I loved, but I thought it was time to move past the early 1990s.  I ended up buying Mac's racket: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCDUNLOP-DMMC.html  It's made to look like his old Maxply.  Can't wait to take it out for a spin.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #425 on: June 15, 2008, 02:56:43 PM »

You have to like Nadal's chances after that impressive showing at Queens.  Taking out Djokovic on grass is no easy matter.  The guy is playing top notch tennis.
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sgrobin
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« Reply #426 on: June 18, 2008, 09:52:05 AM »

Fortunately, the Tennis Channel is devoting primetime to some of the greatest matches at Wimbledon.  Unfortunately, they are all ones that put a pit in my stomach.  Monday was Sampras losing to Federer in 2001; last night was Agassi beating Ivanisevic in 1992; tonight is Mac relinquishing his crown to Connors in 1982 (Hamlet will probably like that one though.) 

Has anybody been in touch with CB or Birk lately?
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Earl
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« Reply #427 on: June 19, 2008, 07:18:38 PM »


Speaking of upgraded service, we just started getting the Tennis Channel.  Which means our nightly  HGTV vs. VH1 Classic debate (after Olbermann or Daily Show/Colbert Report) can take on a new dimension. 


Hi, Sgrobin.

I'm thinking about getting the Tennis Channel. I recently got a notice from the local cable company saying that they will be converting to digital service. (Date yet to be determined.) It'll mean a couple of minor hassles like having a new converter box installed, etc. But one thing they will be offering is the Tennis Channel, which they did not offer before. So that's pretty cool. But geez, man, I dunno. I have only so many vacation days I can use in a year. I'm picturing myself trying to walk out the door to go to work in the morning while TTC is showing live coverage of some tournament in Europe. I have to tell myself over and over, "Just push the 'OFF' button on the remote, and slowly back away."

Even though I don't follow Golf, it was difficult to avoid news about Tiger Woods' remarkable win over the other guy with the Italian-sounding name. (Seriously, when I say I don't follow Golf, it's no joke. Woods is the only current pro I could name right of the top of my head.) It occurred to me that, for guys like you who are into both Tennis and Golf, this must be a wonderful time of year. You have French Open tennis, followed almost immediately by US Open golf, followed almost immediately by Wimbledon tennis. What a trifecta!

I'd be interested to hear about that racquet. I haven't bought a new one in ages and should probably look into some at the end of Summer when Houston's climate becomes tolerable enough to be on an outdoors cement court for more than five minutes.
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Earl
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« Reply #428 on: June 19, 2008, 07:30:46 PM »

You have to like Nadal's chances after that impressive showing at Queens.  Taking out Djokovic on grass is no easy matter.  The guy is playing top notch tennis.

Agreed. And not only that, but Nadal also handled Roddick's powerful serve in the semis and took him out in straights. Can't wait until the draw is announced tomorrow so I can see whether Djokovic ends up on Federer's side or Nadal's.

James Blake might have reason to complain about the seedings list. He was bumped down from a ranking of #8 to a seeding of #9 while Richard Gasquet was bumped up with those same two numbers reversed. This means Blake, if he gets that far, might have to meet one of the top eight seeds as early as the round of 16.
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Earl
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« Reply #429 on: June 19, 2008, 08:13:11 PM »

Fortunately, the Tennis Channel is devoting primetime to some of the greatest matches at Wimbledon.  Unfortunately, they are all ones that put a pit in my stomach.  Monday was Sampras losing to Federer in 2001; last night was Agassi beating Ivanisevic in 1992; tonight is Mac relinquishing his crown to Connors in 1982 (Hamlet will probably like that one though.) 

Has anybody been in touch with CB or Birk lately?

I may have already mentioned this here or on a previous forum, but what I'd really like to see sometime is Ashe's win over Connors in the 1975 final. I've seen the match point of it about a million times. But I've never seen any of the rest of it. From everything I've read, Ashe was able to counter Connors' power tennis effectively with a variety of spins, angles, finesse (sp?) and placement.

And what the heck? Since I'm talking about 1975, I'll just throw out this bit of Connors trivia that I enjoy: Connors famously won three majors in 1974. They were Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open. But 1975 was a slight letdown. He didn't win any majors that year, but he did make it to the finals of those same three majors and lost them to three different guys. That's probably how he held on to the #1 ranking at the end of that year. One particular guy did not dominate.

Haven't heard from Birk at all, but then, I only ever communicated with him on the fora. I don't think I ever had his e-mail. I believe CB hangs out on the Tennis World message boards these days. Not sure how to access that. There may have been a link to it posted very early on this thread.
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Earl
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« Reply #430 on: June 19, 2008, 08:22:57 PM »

OK, the topic of seedings was recently mentioned, so I was just browsing the Wimbledon website and came across the seedings list...

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/articles/2008-06-18/200806171213733279296.html

...and noticed at the bottom of the page their explanation for how the seeds are determined. It's even more complicated than I thought:

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MEN'S SEEDS

32 players will be seeded in the men's and ladies' singles. These will be the top 32 players on the ATP Entry System Position (ESP) and the WTA Tour ranking.

The seeds are the top 32 players on the ATP Entry System Position (ESP), BUT then rearranged on a surface-based system. A seeding Committee is not required for the Gentlemen’s Singles since the seeding order is determined using an objective and transparent system to reflect more accurately an individual player’s grass court achievements: The formula is:

· Take ESP points at 16 June 2008

· Add 100% points earned for all grass court tournament in the past 12 months

· Add 75% points earned for best grass court tournament in the 12 months before that.

LADIES' SEEDS
The seeds are the top 32 players on the WTA Tour rankings. The seeding order will follow the ranking list, except where in the opinion of the Committee, the grass court credentials of a particular player necessitates a change in the interest of achieving a balanced draw. This year, no changes were made in the singles.
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sgrobin
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« Reply #431 on: June 20, 2008, 02:51:48 PM »

Hiya Hamlet,

I highly recommend the Tennis Channel (heretofore to be abbreviated as ‘TTC’).  I’ve lost the tennis groove for a variety of reasons over the years, but one of them is that it’s just difficult to sit down at a certain time and watch tennis. TTC is nice because it’s always on, so there’s always something on when I can wrest the remote from my wife. I actually like watching the smaller-scale tournaments like Stella Artois and Eastbourne. The former seems to take place in an old brick pile of a stadium – very England-esque. 

I agree that this period is a trifecta for golf and tennis fans, but my golf knowledge has dissipated even more rapidly than my tennis equivalent.  I’ll read about it in the paper, take the boys to the driving range, but that’s about it. 

I am trying to pull off a Bjorn Borg however (i.e. playing again after going into hibernation).  I’m finally lining up some matches; I’ll let you know how the racket feels.  One thing I noticed is that the tennis companies always seem to be coming up with new technology, so last year’s rackets, which may have cost $150, are being discounted to a third of that price.  That seems to be the case for Dunlop, anyway.  I bought mine at Holabird Sports, which is nearby in Baltimore, but Tennis Warehouse sells a variety of rackets too, if you’re interested.  You can even have them send some to you to demo.  But then, you need tolerable weather, I guess.

If TTC ever shows that Ashe-Connors match I’ll record it for you.  I suspect that they won’t though; they haven’t shown the 1980 classic Borg-McEnroe one either.  I guess that whoever holds the copyright on those two matches doesn’t want to show them on TV. 

I have Birk’s email somewhere; I’ll shoot him a ‘hi’. 
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Earl
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« Reply #432 on: June 20, 2008, 05:59:22 PM »

SG,

That's a great tip about looking for racquets that have been on the market for a while. By the way, it's a bit amusing that most descriptions in racquet ads have some variation on the line "offers a nice combination of power and control." I mean, we're all looking for that balance between the two which fits our style of play. And what works for one of us wouldn't necessarily work for another, naturally. But when was the last time you saw an ad which bragged, "This racquet will endow you with the power of Thor! You'll be hitting rocket blasts with ease! But control? Fuggeddaboutit! You don't know where that ball's gonna go!"?

The Wimbledon website usually has one or two interesting articles on it each year. This year is no exception:

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/articles/2008-06-09/200806091213004042061.html

A small sample from the much longer piece:

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USA and Oz: Empires in decline?
 
 
Monday, 9 June, 2008
Written by Ronald Atkin
 
Perhaps nothing has been more surprising at The Championships in recent years than the comparative decline of the English-speaking world in the men's singles competition.

Among Britons the decline can be summed up in a word: catastrophic. Seventy-two years have now passed since Fred Perry posted a ‘home’ victory on Centre Court, but the absence of winners from previously dominant nations like the United States and Australia is a dramatic indication that other countries have caught up, and sometimes surged past, the former giants of grass.
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