Posted: Wednesday November 28, 2007 1:40PM; Updated: Thursday November 29, 2007 12:57PM
Tennis fans in the Northeast: The Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund will host The 2007 Tennis Exhibition at Centercourt in Chatham, N.J. The event will take place on two dates. On Sunday, Dec. 9, the two-day event begins with a full day of junior clinics and pro/am tournaments with professional tennis champions. On Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., fans will enjoy exhibition tennis featuring John McEnroe, Gimelstob and Mike and Bob Bryan, the world's No. 1 doubles team. The primary recipient of the proceeds of these events is The Valerie Fund, a non-profit for children with cancer and blood disorders. For more information, to purchase tickets for this event, or to make a donation to The Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund, please go to www.centercourtinc.com.
Tennis Channel is offering fans the chance to see last week's historic showdown between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer as well as the Rafael Nadal-Richard Gasquet exhibition in Malaysia, online at www.TennisChannel.com. All matches will be FREE and posted on the web site at least through the end of the year. Fans can watch the entire match or just click on a particular set.
Mary of Nashville sends along this Kim Clijsters link.
Dan, Tel-Aviv: Just for the record: Natasha Zvereva started out with a two- handed backhand, but by the middle of her career also consistently used a top spin one-handed shot, as well as the slice.
Katri of Arjava, Helsinki, Finland writes: While most of the tennis pros are relaxing after the busy season, here is what Jarkko Nieminen has chosen to do.
Just so you don't think Nikolay Davydenko isn't the only player to have his effort questioned, Randy Walker sends us this anecdote:
"As [mentioned] in the Roger Federer Book, Quest for Perfection, Roger was hit with a fine for violating the "best effort rule" in the Kublis, Switzerland, satellite event in 1998. Federer was fined $100 and earned only $87 in prize money). The book excerpt, which you are welcome to lift from, is below.
"After appearances in big events in Toulouse and Basel, Federer next competed on the much lower level Swiss satellite circuit -- and felt as if he were in a bad movie. He just played before 9,000 spectators against Agassi, one of the all-time greats, in front of a major television audience with all the newspapers writing articles about him. Meanwhile, he just signed with the world's largest sports agency, International Management Group, and was being supplied, like Pete Sampras, by brands such as Nike and Wilson. But now he suddenly found himself in the eastern Swiss town of Küblis, in a gloomy tennis stadium in a valley wedged in the Bündner Mountains. There were no spectators, no line judges and no ball boys. He was not facing Andre Agassi, but Armando Brunold, the No. 11 player in Switzerland, whom Federer by now outclassed as the No. 6 player in the country.
"The first-round match at the circuit's first tournament proved to be a culture shock for Federer and he reacted apathetically. His listlessness didn't escape tournament referee Claudio Grether. "He simply stood unmotivated and nonchalantly on the court and double-faulted twice each game," Grether explained. After Federer lost to Brunold 7-6, 6-2, Grether imposed a $100 fine against Federer because he violated the "best effort" rule stipulating that professional players must put forth their best efforts in every competition. "I could have disqualified him as well but then he would no longer have been able to compete in the rest of the circuit," Grether said. Federer silently received the verdict. With prize money earnings of only $87, Federer left Küblis with a $13.00 deficit. It would be the only professional tournament he played where he actually lost money.
"But Federer learned his lesson. "The fine was justified," he admitted.... A week later, he won the second tournament on the circuit and went on to win the circuit's overall points title. His effort paid off and despite his initial setback, he moved passed 100 opponents in the world rankings, landing at No. 303. Not bad for somebody who just turned 17."
Shawn Frost of Miami, Fla., writes: I'm no teaching pro, but on the subject of one-handed and two-handed backhands and adding both to one's repertoire, I have tried to adopt both into my game, and I can say that the stroke production is quite different for each.
On the two-handed backhand, my left hand (I'm right-handed) is an active part of the stroke, whereas with one hand, my right hand not only does all of the work, but also holds the racket much higher on the shaft (my forehand grip is western, whereas one-handed backhand is continental). I tried this because I felt it would add versatility to my game, but it simply makes me indecisive when presented with a routine backhand. Maybe that's why players tend to stick with one or the other...?
What I don't understand is when I hear announcers say that a one-handed backhand gives a player better reach. My normal strike zone is the same for both the one-handed and two-handed backhands (when coming up under the ball); although a one-handed slice adds extra reach, the topspin-generating one-handed backhand in and of itself adds no extra distance.
Back to the Federer-Sampras matches, Dominic Ciafardini of Hong Kong writes: I live in Hong Kong and tried to get tickets for this match in Macau about 10 hours after they went on sale and the event was sold out, just in case anyone wonders if these exhibitions in Asia are popular.
Ivan H. of New York sends us long, lost siblings:
Kenneth Carlsen and Thom Yorke.
HAVE A GOOD WEEK EVERYONE!
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