Tennis Mailbag (cont.)
I have never seen anything cooler than what Djokovic did at the close of his victory at Wimbledon, eat a piece of grass & throw all his rackets to the fans in the stands. What a character this guy is!
-- Eric Bukzin, Manorville, N.Y.
Right on. So genuine and spontaneous and I love his explanation, essentially that he was so overcome with joy that it was if his animal instincts took over. (Of course, having written that, you can guess that documents will be leaked suggesting that CAA gave test audiences various choices for "postmatch celebration" and grass eating tested highest.)
I found your NYMag link on Nadal's so-called sportsmanship to be very biased, shallow, bigoted, mean-spirited and most importantly, nonfactual. Judging by the comments listed beneath the blog, I'm not the only person to be disturbed by this rogue blogger. Thanks for adding the "fair & balanced" link to your bag.
-- David, Houston
I agree that the writer's flubbing of the basic facts undercut his credibility. But my libertarian instincts prevail here. If New York magazine's website gives prominent placement to a Nadal-themed column -- hardly rogue blogging -- chances are good that I'm going to pass on the link. You guys can make your own judgments and pick it apart (or praise it) as you see fit. This, on the other hand ... (assist to Bob of Hoboken, N.J.)
Federer has never won Davis Cup. He didn't win Olympic gold in the singles competition. Nadal, on the other hand, won gold in Beijing and also won Davis Cup more than once. Could that be a decisive factor in determining the identity of the GOAT five years from now (given that Federer doesn't win either of these competitions over the next five years)?
-- Ahmed Mahmoud, Cairo, Egypt
Again, this is what's both great and exasperating about the GOAT discussion. There are no set criteria, no standardized weights and measures. Sure, Nadal gets extra points for Davis Cup success. (And while we're here: How much weight to the fact that his Olympic gold was in singles, not doubles?) On the flip side, how much weight to give the ATP WTF -- the year-end soiree among the top eight players -- that Nadal has never won and Federer has taken five times?
A hearty tesekkür ederim (handy mnemonic: "tea, sugar and a dream") to the many of you who passed along suggestions for Turkey. Tremendous country. Go there.
The volume of anti-grunting emails -- as many as two dozen in one day -- is so intense that we're just going to pick a screed of the week. Clearly this issue has pierced your collective eardrum. Maybe if you guys continue to sound off and make enough noise, the WTA will listen.
Anyway, this week's winner (such as it is) is Dave of Jersey City, N.J: "No grunting? Really? Wait a minute. Some men grunt. And it's OK. So what is it we fans DON'T want? What we don't want is squealing, or screaming, or screeching, or ululating, or wailing, or embarrassing performances. Let's call it like it is and maybe that will get someone's attention on any governing body. I'm the biggest tennis fan. I'm proud to say I've completed my own Grand Slam of attending all four majors, and I love the sport, but it's really a shame to be forced to listen to that. To put it bluntly, the quality of play is not worth the pain most of the time. The WTA is losing a fan here, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone."
Our loyal and fearless local informant Sally Duncan sends this dispatch from Switzerland's Davis Cup campaign: "As I caught the train to Bern to watch our boys play in the Davis Cup against Portugal, I mused about the team comprising the German-speaking Federer and the French-speaking [Stan] Wawrinka, and the melting of the 'Roesti Graben,' that almost mystical border, in geographic, political, cultural and culinary terms, which separates the Swiss French speakers from the Swiss German ones. The opening ceremony was held in both languages, as well as, with a small nod to the team from Portugal, a few sentences in English. The Arena was a sea of red. Although both teams had practically identical kits, I suspect that the Swiss fans outnumbered their opponents by 99 to 1. Wawrinka's win was celebrated, but when Federer appeared for his match, the applause was frenetic and didn't abate with the loss of the first set. Once his backhand set up winner after winner and the beer started flowing, there was no stopping the crowd. Move over, William Tell."
Wait, another dispatch, this one from the wild-'n-wacky World TeamTennis from Ivo Stoyanov of Sofia, Bulgaria/Jersey City, N.J.: "WTT has started, and I made my first visit ever, watching the game between N.Y. Sportimes and Boston Lobsters (they can work on team nicknames, mind you). Martina Hingis was racious and exciting (and still looks and plays as an active top pro player), and everyone at the courts had fun. Everyone signed my oversized tennis ball and I even got pictures with both Martina and Coco Vandeweghe courtside. I'll be going back again soon. Can't wait to see McEnroe play as well!"
Evan of New York: Needed to call out one thing in your Mailbag regarding Lindsay/Martina as a rockin' doubles team. They actually also won the French Open Legends title, so that makes back-to-back Slam wins, in a matter of speaking. Check it!
Props to Subhadeep of Greenville, S.C.: "Trivia answer: Diego Riviera painted Helen Wills Moody and I just was in London's Tate Modern and saw the painting in person. On the same note, what a great museum Tate Modern is. Great collection and also free!"
Steve Suagee of Port Angeles, Wash.: Just a note about previous sports nicknames -- boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini flourished in the [late '70s and early '80s], well before Boris Becker. He was a champion in his weight division. Tragically one of his opponents succumbed to a brain injury.
Chris Evert has teamed up with charitybuzz to offer one lucky bidder the chance of a lifetime: a 1-hour private tennis lesson and lunch. The proceeds of this auction benefit Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. Beginning in 1989, this event is and has been dedicated to raising money to fund programs that ensure a bright future for at-risk children and their families. The auction is live now through July 19, 2011 on charitybuzz. Fans can bid here.
It's the Steffi Graf rock song!
From the ATP: This year's 12 recipients of the ATP ACES For Charity grant program include The Rafa Nadal Foundation, the Bryan Brothers Foundation, the Japan Tennis Association's earthquake relief fund, and organizations supporting a range of causes, including health care for children in Memphis and Bucharest, relief for victims of natural disasters in Pakistan and Japan, sports and education programs for disadvantaged youth in Washington DC and the Congo, and social services for the disabled in Argentina and China.
Jack Deschauer from the Washington Kastles writes: "I wanted to point out that First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia attended the World TeamTennis match between the Kastles and the Boston Lobsters in D.C. at Kastles Stadium at the Wharf. It was a sellout crowd of 2,600 at the brand new waterfront facility, and the Kastles "boiled" (can't resist) the Lobsters 25-10, with Serena closing out the match with a 5-4 women's singles win over Coco Vandeweghe.
Bob and Mike Bryan took part in a clinic for members of five local USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapters, in conjunction with an appearance in Austin, Texas, by the USTA's SmashZone Mobile Tour and their partnership announcement with one of SmashZone Mobile's sponsors, Esurance.
Ben of Hong Kong: Re: JMDP and Monkey King lookalike. The Monkey King link failed. Here is a new one.
Have a good week, everyone!
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