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Posted: Wednesday October 15, 2008 2:40PM; Updated: Friday October 24, 2008 1:23PM
Jon Wertheim Jon Wertheim >

Comparing Jelena and Ana, the best to not win a major and more

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RE: ATP bench-pressing contest. My guess is this one goes to the guys with the biceps/or who look stronger: Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Carlos Moya, Marat Safin; Maybe even give props to Andy Murray for baring his biceps at Wimbledon. Not: Marin Cilic (to follow your pick of del Potro), Roger Federer looks strong but don't think he'd win a bench-pressing contest. Is the women's side included? If so, Serena Williams, Amelie Mauresmo, and maybe one of the Russian players-Dinara/Dementieva/Kuznetsova. Not: Agnieszka Radwanska, Anna Chakvetadze
-- Winnie K. Toronto, Canada

• Winnie, perhaps inadvertently, raises a good point. The guy who bench presses the most weight isn't necessarily the strongest. And vice versa. Federer, for instance, has undeniable strength. But I wouldn't be surprised if he's unable to bench press his weight. (It's always the homunculus with those short stubby arms who put up the big plates.) I'd probably put my money on Agassi, assuming he's still eligible. As for women, it's Serena in a romp.

Slobodan Zivojinovic wins the bench press contest hands down. That guy was built like a truck! And wore such TINY little shorts! Becker had bigger thighs, but Bobo was linebacker material all the way. I wonder what the heck that guy is doing now?
-- Benjamin Temko , Atlanta, Ga

• A prize to the first person to come up with a Bobo update. Mildly credible answers preferred. Andy of Vail, Colo., suggests, Nicolas Almagro. ("When Max Mirnyi retires, Almagro should inherit the Beast nickname.")

If there was one thing or aspect in Federer's game that he could improve on to help him the most at the moment, what would you say it would be?
-- James, Vista, Ca

• Do we count the cardigan-and-belt ensemble he wore at Wimbledon? What about the fact that his music request list for the U.S. Open included that Don't Stop the Music song by Rihanna?

Curious - do you get a lot of hatemail like that one from "Anonymous"?
-- Ted M., Baltimore

• First, thanks to everyone who wrote in with kind words in the wake of last week's pasting. While most of the mail I get is pleasant and benign, I want to make it clear -- and I can't stress this enough -- that dissent is welcome. Disagree with something? Fire away. If we're all hugging and kissing (there's a Caddyshack line that decorum prevents me from quoting) it's not much fun. The only request is to keep it civil.

Listen, we all know how much you don't like Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Everytime she makes it out of qualifying or to the second round, you completely ignore her. Is it because she stole the title of longest name in the top 80 from Anabel Medina Garrigues or because her favorite movie is Grease (which you also pointedly ignore)? C'mon Jon, own up.
-- Steve Kainz, St. Louis

• You got me. I can no longer cover it up. I am a Zahlavova Strycova hater.

Fetard? I thought that Roger fans like us have a Fedish.
-- Clint Swett, Sacramento, Ca

• Nice.

Shots, Miscellany

• This week's random encounter:

Laurie Rosen of Norwich, Vt.:

A few years ago, I was living in the bay area. I was walking down the street one day in Berkeley, California, and who do I see getting out of a beat up looking car but Wayne Ferreira. Being the star-struck individual that I am, I headed down to talk with him. He was just going into a gymboree music class with his young son; I had just left the previous class a few minutes prior. He was incredibly nice and friendly. I was hoping to run into him at another gymboree class. I thought that it would be great sitting next to him and sing The itsy bitsy spider though unfortunately, it never happened.

Last year, I went to see him play in Boston at an Outback event. I got a chance to chat with him and again, he was incredibly gracious and nice. I had since moved to Vermont and he was asking me all about that. He truly seems to be a really nice guy and I know in the past he has helped out with coaching the guys at UC Berkeley, which I think is admirable, especially when he was on the tour.

• Quick, which ascending WTA star is on the verge of leaving her current management for IMG?

• This tournament always seems to get nailed with upsets and withdrawals. So it gets a gratuitous plug: Rafael Nadal is entering the ABN AMRO event in Rotterdam, once the world's busiest port city.

• Another entry from the "moral imperative" department. Everyone is required to read this story: And remember that Mark Neilsen is no drug cheat. It's such a shame, this poor guy makes international news when he fails a drug test. When he is, in effect, exonerated, it scantly rates a mention.

• To our vital inquiry: is "hater" a racially charged phrase?. The consensus seems to be "not really." Chiquita of Arlington, Va., writes: "I think it is a colloquialism that African-Americans are more likely to use but it doesn't have racial implications, e.g., "player-hater". That's my unscientific opinion."

• From our friends at World Team Tennis. "Sir Elton John knows how to get Andy Roddick fired up on the tennis court. Before Sunday's Advanta WTT Smash Hits event at Kennesaw State University, co-host Elton John joked that Andy Roddick hasn't been on a winning Smash Hits team in years. Roddick responded to the challenge from his team coach, winning three sets to lead Team Elton John to a 23-16 victory over Team Billie Jean at the 16th annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits at Kennesaw State University.

With the win, Elton John evened the series with Billie Jean King at eight wins apiece. The annual charity event, hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund."

• Got a Facebook note that it's Mitzi Ingram Evans' birthday. So happy birthday to Mitzi.

• And for the high brow portion of today's show:

Landon Wallace of Rockingham, N.C., sends Long lost siblings: Caroline Wozniacki and country singer Taylor Swift.

• Actually, to stay consistent with our Jankovic theme, here's another, courtesy of Christine of Herndon, Va.: Audrina Patridge of The Hills

• And another

Have a good week everyone!

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