Nadal's gracefulness, Henin's viewpoint and Roger's toxins
How come Dmitry Tursunov, a Top 30 player, had to go through qualifications in Zagreb? Shouldn't he have been put straight in the Main Draw?
The Sharko-rator informs us that Tursunov didn't enter the Main draw and wasn't given a wild card, so his only option was to go through the qualies.
I know it's too late, and will not happen because of the Nike/Adidas angle, but wouldn't it be nice to see Gil Reyes mentoring Roger right now? I think Roger could use the influence right now.
Gil Reyes speaks in these Zen-like aphorisms but his strength, no pun intended, is really on the physical training side. I know, I know, there's an inextricable relationship between the physical and mental. Still, I think Federer would do much better with a Darren Cahill type, a plain-speaking, no BS type, who's played tennis at a high level, knows the rest of the field (a lefty Spaniard in particular) and is "fair dinkum." Two things we know about Federer: he is fiercely proud/stubborn and he is conservative in many respects. I think Brad Gilbert is a toxic personality match with Federer. And I think someone who's too New Agey won't work either.
Yes, Roger's crying at the trophy ceremony is a physiological/biological response. Adrenal activation is at very high levels in such a stressful and for him momentous occasion. If he wins and completes the task he gets relief and the nervous system returns to a state of rest. If he looses the task is incomplete and the release has to come some other way. The body starts to tremble as he comes down from the adrenalin 'high' and the trembling then goes to tears. He'd have been ok if he didn't have to speak as at Wimbledon where Sue Barker supported him not to have to address people beyond his capacity. But at Melbourne he had to face being overwhelmed again by the adoration of the crowd and having to force himself to respond. One two many overwhelms for his nervous system.
Thanks. Federer obviously has a tendency to cry. But I think he raised an interesting point: in other sports, the losers can repair to the locker room, grieve in private, take a therapeutic shower, and then face the world. In the case of losing finalists in tennis, they're given no such reprieve.
I sometimes enjoy looking through old magazines and newspapers in search of silly predictions. Came upon this one in a Davis Cup article in 12/13/04 SI: "The tie doubled as a cotillion of sorts for Rafael Nadal, an 18-year-old destined for big things. Nadal showed a taste for combat to match his abundant gifts." Wow, whoever wrote that must feel pretty sheepish about now.
Sounds like the kind of idiot who would pick Elena Dementieva over Serena Williams.
For the Kaballah portion of today's show, a few of you noted that Nadal is 13-6 against Federer, but Federer leads in Majors by the score...13-6.
How about a hand for Martin Damm, who has now won a doubles title in every year since 1993!
Joel of Pittsburgh notes that Federer isn't defending a single Masters Series title at the moment.
If you missed it, Daniela Hantuchova, Tatian Golovin and Maria Kirilenko were featured in the SI swimsuit issue.
Robert Webb, Dalton, Ga. notes: Amer Delic's run of tennis at the Australian Open was inspirational and earned him many new fans. It didn't earn him enough ranking points. His ranking dropped 12 spots in the February 2 ATP rankings.
Will of Kansas City, Mo.: I didn't see the vests, but Nike already makes a cooling vest. Designed for the 2008 Olympics.
Ryan Sweeting beat Brendan Evans, in the finals of the 11th Annual Challenger of Dallas Saturday at T Bar M Racquet Club.
Longboat Key Club and Resort is opening a new $4.5 million tennis facility on March 6 -- complete with a stadium court to host professional tournaments and exhibitions.
This week's unsolicited book recommendation: Matt McCarthy's Odd Man Out.
A heartfelt thanks to those who of you came out to last week's "Varsity Letters" event in Manhattan. Nice meeting so many of you. We'll do another event this summer with the Federer-Nadal book.
For our colorblind readers, Ingo of London kindly suggests: There is a relatively simple solution to this problem by changing the browser settings. For Firefox users this option is found under Tools -> Options -> Content. Within the content tab you need to click on the 'Colors' button halfway down the box on the right hand side. In the next pop-up window you need to make sure that the "Allow pages to choose their own colors" does _not_ have a tick in it and then adjust the link colors to a color that you can see. For Internet Explorer users this option is found under Tools -> Internet Options -> Accessibility (bottom of the General tab). Once this pop-up box opens you need to make sure that you have a tick in the "Ignore colors specified on webpages" has a tick in it. If you do that the link should default to blue.
This week's pick for weirdest doubles team: Date Krumm/Karatantcheva
Another plug for the teen tennis tour in India. It beats a summer job at The Gap.
Tennis Week has appointed Tim Heath Publisher, effective immediately. Heath reports to Lee Rosenbaum, Vice President of IMG Publishing.
Don Maddigan of St Simons Island, Ga.: I know Federer has many well-wishers for a return to form in 2009. Not the least of whom is my three-year-old son who twice last week during bedtime prayers asked God to bless Federer. I also heard him refer to Federer as Feddy-poo.
Tracy Austin will join Anna Kournikova for special mixed doubles matches during the $150,000 Champions Cup Boston tennis championships February 13-15 at Boston University's Agganis Arena.
New York readers, The BNP Paribas Showdown is Monday, March 2, Save the date. Mary Carillo, Billie Jean King and John McEnroe will team up for HBO Sports' live coverage.
Shawn Frost of Miami, Fla. comes up huge with this week's LLS:
Have a great week, everyone!