Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: The King is Down! Long Live the King

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic celebrates match point during his Quarter Final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland on Day Nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Big Berd hit Fed off the court (6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4) showing that his victory in Miami was not a fluke. It's a typical pattern: a big tall flat hitter gets a nice look at Fed's kick 2nd serve and hits a forcing shot into the corner to immediately take control of the point. Over the course of the match, Fed has to start going for safer 1st serves to protect his second serve and hit more aggressive 2nd serves. Then the big hitter starts getting chances to break Fed. Props to Big Berd for executing and closing it out. He faces the Djoker for a place in the finals. With this loss, Federer will drop to #3 in the world.

Switzerland's Roger Federer walks off the court after being defeated by Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 30, 2010.        REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


As a Fed fan, I'm trying to be rational about it. Yes, he's heading toward the end of his career and it's obvious that God-mode Federer ain't coming back. The stretches of effortless wins that we're accustomed to seeing from Fed won't happen. But if anything is clear from watching him struggle at SW19, he's not going to go quietly. We're going to see more and more of Fed the fighter, which is apparently a shock to folks like Bozo.


@ptbodo Roger Federer can be surly. Who knew?


Of course, Fed haters jumped on him for his press conference, but read in toto, it make sense. If you won Wimbly five times and just got beaten by a player you've owned most of your career, would you be happy? In a way, I'm kind of glad Fed was surly.


Q. Difficult moment, but what couldn't you do that you wanted to do? What let you down?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, I mean, I don't think I played poorly. But, uhm, I think he went after it. I mean, I know Berdych. I think I've played him 10 times already before. That's the way he plays, you know.

I think he's been able to play more consistent last year or so, and I was just not able to defend well enough and I didn't come up with the good stuff when I had to. So it was disappointing, you know. Yeah.

Q. You beat him almost every time you played him. Was he any different?

ROGER FEDERER: Like I said, I think he was a bit more consistent than in the past. I lost to him in Miami this year, where it was a really tight match as well.

But from my end, obviously, you know, I'm unhappy with the way I'm playing. I couldn't play the way I wanted to play. You know, I am struggling with a little bit of a back and a leg issue. That just doesn't quite allow me to play the way I would like to play.

So it's frustrating, to say the least. Looking forward to some rest anyway.

Q. How do those physical things affect you the most?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, when you're hurting, it's just a combination of many things. You know, you just don't feel as comfortable. You can't concentrate on each and every point because you do feel the pain sometimes. And, uhm, yeah, then you tend to play differently than the way you want to play.

Under the circumstances I think I played a decent match, you know. But I've been feeling bad for the last two, three matches now. It's just not good and healthy to play under these kind of conditions, you know.

So if there's anything good about this it's I'm gonna get some rest, that's for sure.

Q. Some of these big, flat hitters seem to be having an effect on you. Do you need to alter your game to adjust to that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, if I'm healthy I can handle those guys, you know. Obviously it's a pity that Del Potro is not around, because I think he would have a run at world No. 1 or a run at another Grand Slam. It's unfortunate for him.

But, you know, he's been playing well, and these guys do play very well. I played these guys 10 times. They're not going to reinvent themselves in a year, you know.

But I'm definitely struggling at the moment. That's a bit disappointing.

Q. When did you first start feeling the problems?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the leg came in the finals of Halle. That kind of never really quite got away from me. Came back a little bit after the first‑round match, and then went away again and just kept creeping back sometimes during the matches.

The back's been feeling stiff the last five days, six days really badly. Also in the finals of Halle. It's just something that's been lingering on the grass. It's normal that the back tends to get stiff, you know, in the grass court season because you have to, uhm, go for many more lower shots.

I've had that for many years. I think many players have it. But it's not just not nice when it doesn't go away and you can't play freely. That's what I was missing today.

Q. Did it affect your level of motivation or anxiety about the match before the match or in the early stages of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it wasn't that bad, like that I was just hoping to get to the finish line. I mean, once I enter the court, I am there to battle and to try to win with what I got. You know, otherwise I'm not going to walk on the court like I did once in my life prior in Bercy against Blake.

But it's nowhere close to being that bad. It's just uncomfortable. Yeah, like I said, you can't play freely. When you can't play freely, that's the kind of performance you get.

Q. Obviously he's going to come at you. Did you feel like you were as aggressive as you wanted to be in the match? You had some chances in the fourth set, Love‑40 on his serve.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, his mistakes and my mistakes. You know, he played well when he had to. It was brutal for me. Every time he had a chance, he took it. On the breakpoints, he played great on those.

Then when I had chances early on, I was actually not too bad. I just felt like I got the unlucky bounce once in a while, you know. 30‑All he got it on the line over and over again. I just felt like I couldn't create enough chances to really get the breakthrough.

When I did have chances, I played poorly. It was just a frustrating match the way it all went.

Q. Timing issues for you out there on the ball?

ROGER FEDERER: No.

Q. A number of shots were sailing out and the crowd would groan and then they would suddenly curl in. What role do you think technology had on today's result, strings in particular?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what you mean. What do you mean, balls were flying out and they came back in?

Q. No. It looked like he was hitting balls that were going to land 10 feet behind the baseline and then they would curl in.

ROGER FEDERER: No, no, he didn't play like that. You saw a different match.

Q. Will this make you hungrier to make you come back and show you can lift this title again?

ROGER FEDERER: Sure. God, I can't wait for Paris and Wimbledon to come around next year again, that's for sure. So, uhm, because they've been frustrating tournaments for me, even though it wasn't too bad.

Quarters is a decent result. Obviously people think quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in quarterfinal stages of Grand Slam play. It's not something I'm used to doing, losing in quarterfinals, because it's not something I've done in the last six years.

So I am winning my matches. Today was a different story than Paris. I mean, I think in Paris conditions were tough. Robin played fantastic. Today was different. You know, I was struggling with my own game and with my physique.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to a rest, and then attack again in North America.

Q. What concern do you have that the injuries will linger?

ROGER FEDERER: Not much of a concern.

Q. Do you feel you can get back to a position of domination in tennis?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I do think that. That's why I'm here.

Q. Obviously a very disappointing day for you personally. Who, in your opinion, do you think will go on to win this competition now?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, let's wait and see who gets through today. But as we don't know, I can't answer. What a pity (smiling.)

Q. Which leg is the one bothering you?

ROGER FEDERER: The right one.

Q. Do you think the return was the most difficult part of your game today? Because sometimes you were returning a little slower and he was hitting a lot of winners.

ROGER FEDERER: That's his game. He took a lot of chances, you know. I tried to slice it; I tried to play aggressive. You know, first you just want to try to make the returns.

But, you know, I mean, I had my chances. I don't think I needed to change much. The way I returned, this match I could have won as well, you know.

But, uhm, I was just not playing well enough. And when he had to, he was able to come up with some good stuff, you know. But I definitely gave away this match, I feel.

Q. Will you shut yourself off from tennis totally now?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Two weeks' vacation.

Q. The prospect of a men's final without Roger Federer seems a strange one. Will you tune in on Sunday to see how it goes on?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't think so, no. I'll be on vacation, like I said (smiling.)

Q. Andy Murray is playing a critical match at the moment. Nadal has been having some trouble. What do you think of Andy Murray as a player and do you think this might be his year, given some of the great players are not doing so well?

ROGER FEDERER: The end was what?

Q. I wonder if you think this might be his year, given some of the really threatening players haven't been doing so well this year.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, true, Rafa played terribly lately; Soderling is not a threat either. He's got an easy ride to this victory, that's for sure. Djokovic can't play tennis anymore it seems like.

Got to make your own work, please. Respect the players. Obviously Andy is a fantastic player and he's got all the chances to win here. We all know that.


So, beware! Fed might give himself to the dark side and channel his anger. Darth Federer will be on the loose.

Meanwhile, this blog has discovered that the mysterious power outages that have been appearing all over Western Europe are due to the British hype machine as Toothface advanced to the semis to face Rafa.

Britain's Andy Murray celebrates winning a second set tie-breaker in his match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 30, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Manic Monday

One of the consequences of Wimbledon taking the middle Sunday off is that all the 4th round matches took place on Monday, which makes for lots of great tennis.

LONDON, June 28, 2010 Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball during his fourth round match of men's singles against Jurgen Melzer of Austria at the 2010 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Britain, June 28, 2010. Federer won 3-0 to enter the quarter-finals.


The Greatest Forehand Shanker was kidnapped by aliens and replaced by TMF who returned beautifully and put on practice match against Melzer (63 62 63)

June 28, 2010 - Wimbledon, United Kingdom - epa02227862 Juergen Melzer of Austria crashes out to Roger Federer of Switzerland in their fourth round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 28 June 2010.


Belgian text-buddies promised to meet each other for the biggest exho since BJK beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes. Mum Train's chance of winning a Wimbly before she has another kid were kept alive and JuJu has another year to work on her serve (26 62 63).

June 28, 2010 - Wimbledon, United Kingdom - epa02227868 Kim Clijsters of Belgium (L) at the net with compatriot Justine Henin whom she defeated in their fourth round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 28 June 2010.


Ears were split at Centre Court by Shrieka and ReeRee. Unfortunately for fans of rose petal dresses, Shrieka double faulted in the tie breaker to set up set point to gift the match to ReeRee (76 [9] 64).

Russia's Maria Sharapova reacts to winning a point during her match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates winning the first set against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Vee her sister also hung in there to win a tight straight setter over Groth (64 76[5]).

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Venus Williams of USA (L) shakes hands after winning her match against Jarmila Groth of Australia on Day Seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


The Djoker overcame an "illness" to do his Incredible Hulk impression to overcome Rusty (75 64 36 64)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates match point during his match against Lleyton Hewitt of Australia on Day Seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)


ARod played not to lose and lost to Asia's best tennis player, Rendy Lu (46 76[3] 76[4] 67[5] 97). Oh, BTW, his interview is a gem where he takes stupid media questions apart.

Andy Roddick of the U.S. reacts after missing a point during his match against Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun reacts to winning a point against Andy Roddick of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Nails kept enough balls in play to hit Aggie off the court (63 62).

China's Li Na reacts to winning a point against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


So did Petra Kvitova to Aggie's best friend, Caro, who really needs to learn to win matches without on court coaching (62 60).

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: Caroline Wozniaki of Denmark reacts during her match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on Day Seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Lady JaJa had to retire with a lower back injury against Bepa (61 30).

Serbia's Jelena Jankovic is worked on by a trainer during her match against Russia's Vera Zvonareva at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


In other news,

  • Rafa steamrolled Mathieu (64 62 62)

  • Sod hung in there against Ferru (62 57 62 36 75)

  • Ali danced after triumphing over Benneteau his compatriot (61 46 63 61)

  • Samurai couldn't hit through Muzz (75 63 64)

  • Big Berd triumphed over Brand (46 76[1] 75 63)
  • The Hamster lost to Pironkova (64 64)

  • Kanepri cruised over Zakopalova (62 64)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: the Queen in the Royal Box

Britain's Queen Elizabeth (C) is escorted by the Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), Tim Phillips, as they walk past Henman's Hill during a visit to the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS ROYALS SOCIETY)


As you all know, Queen Elizabeth II visited Wimbledon for the first time since 1977 when Briton Virginia Wade won the ladies championship.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Serena Williams greets Queen Elizabeth II as she attends the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on Day 4 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2010 in London, England. It is the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the Championships in 33 years. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


At Member's Lawn, ReeRee got to show off her curtsy in a greeting line of tennis players for the Queen.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Queen Elizabeth II speaks to British tennis player, Laura Robson as she attends the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on Day 4 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2010 in London, England. It is the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the Championships in 33 years. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)



The line included Vee her big sister, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Lady JaJa, Caro, ARod, Nole, Sir Shanksalot as well as Brit lady ballers Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Queen Elizabeth II meets (L-R) Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as she attends the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on Day 4 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2010 in London, England. It is the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the Championships in 33 years. (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)


Sir Shanksalot and Vee then had lunch with Her Royal Highness. What was for lunch?

  • Salmon millefeuille with Wye Valley asparagus

  • Chilled orange and honey marinated chicken on fruity couscous with roasted vegetables

  • Kentish strawberries and blackberries with Cornish clotted cream and mint Syrup

  • English cheese plate and orange chutney, coffee and chocolates

  • Wine List: Meursault, Joseph Drouhin, 2006 and Barolo, Giovanni Corino, 2004



The Queen gave the royal wave from the Royal Box.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Queen Elizabeth II waves as she arrives for the second round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland on Day Four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


These two gentlemen (Muzz and Nieminen) bowed back, following the tradition.

June 24, 2010 - Wimbledon, United Kingdom - epa02219547 Andy Murray of Britain (L) and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland bow to the Royal Box as britain's Queen Elizabeth ll attends their third round match on centre Court for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 24 June 2010.


After Muzz clinically dispatched Finland's finest (6-3, 6-4, 6-2), they exited with a royal box and paid their respects to HRM who had indicated that one match was enough for her to see at her age of 84.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: The Longest Match Ever

John Isner of the U.S. (L) and France's Nicolas Mahut pose for a photograph next to the scoreboard on court 18 after their record breaking match at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


In the 1st round, Tree and Mahut have been playedthe longest professional match ever in tennis history (6-4 3-6 7-6 [7] 6-7 [3] 70-68), stretching out over 3 days, clocking in at 11 hours and 5 minutes for a total of 183 games. Sadly, it had to end. Tree finally broke Mahut's serve, hitting two consecutive passing shots winners from 30-all to secure the match.

John Isner of the U.S. celebrates defeating France's Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SPORT TENNIS)


This match shattered a number of records. The first 4 sets took a mere 174 minutes (2 hours 54 minutes). They began playing the unimaginable fifth set on the second day, as Wimbledon does not allow tiebreakers to determine the winner. The match time exceeded Hawaii Ironman men's course record (8 hours, 4 min). The fifth set alone (8 hours and 11 minutes) lasted longer than the Borg vs. McEnroe Wimbledon final of 1980.



  • The longest professional match ever played (11 hours and five minutes; the eight-hour fifth set alone ran longer than the previous mark of 6 hours, 33 minutes set by Clement and Santoro at the 2004 French Open).

  • The longest set ever played (70-68, with the previous mark being a puny 25-23 when John Newcombe beat Marty Reissen 4-6 6-3 6-4 25-23 in the 1969 US Open).

  • The most games ever played (183). This is well ahead of the previous record of 122 games in doubles (1973 Davis Cup tie between the US and Chile: Stan Smith and Erik Van Dillen beat Patricio Cornejo and Jaime Fillol, 7–9, 37–39, 8–6, 6–1, 6–3) and 112 games in singles (Pancho Gonzalez v. Charlie Pasarell at 1969 Wimbledon

  • The most points ever played (881), winners ever hit (490) and longest scorecard ever printed (eight pages). (No one has checked these, exactly, but it's a pretty sure thing.)

  • The most aces ever hit (Isner's 113 and Mahut's 103 both beat the previous record of 78 set by Dr. Ivo in a Davis Cup tie in 2009 against the Worm).



The only match that this hasn't exceeded is an amateur one in the Guinness Book of World Records: in Nov 2008, Bolter v Rostan in USA lasted 31hrs, 35mins, 30secs!

France's Nicolas Mahut sits between games during his match against John Isner of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


The match stats were:




















































































Mahut (FRA) Isner (USA)
Unforced Errors 60 62
Winners 244 246
1st Serve % 67 % 74 %
Aces 103 112
Double Faults 21 10
1st Serve % Pts Won 284 of 328 = 87 % 292 of 361 = 81 %
2nd Serve % Pts Won 101 of 161 = 63 % 82 of 130 = 63 %
Break Points Won 1 of 3 = 33 % 2 of 14 = 14 %
Net Approaches 111 of 155 = 72 % 97 of 144 = 67 %
Total Receiving Points Won 117 of 501 = 23 % 104 of 510 = 20 %
Total Service Points Won 406 of 510 = 80 % 384 of 501 = 77 %
Total Points Won 502 478
Fastest Serve Speed 128 MPH 143 MPH
Avg 1st Serve Speed 118 MPH 123 MPH
Avg 2nd Serve Speed 101 MPH 112 MPH




Oh, BTW, props go out to Mohammed Lahyani the umpire for staying out there the whole time.

Umpire Mohamed Lahyani takes a break during the match between France's Nicolas Mahut and John Isner of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Now for some epic tweets:


@JamesLaRosa Isner/Mahut could kick Chuck Norris's ass

@TomPerrotta Federer on Isner-Mahut: "I don't know if I was crying or laughing, it's too much."

@andy_murray: This is why tennis is one of the toughest sports in the world, this will never ever be matched again

@Emma_Golding John McEnroe, regarding the match: "I'm very proud to be a tennis player right now." Damn straight.

@SvetlanaK27 can u imagine thay play this match untill the end of wimbledone???lolo never will finish


A TV interview was done at the end of the 2nd day and both players were complimentary of each other:


Isner: "Nothing like this will ever happen again, ever."

Mahut: "He's just a champ."


LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: John Isner of USA (bottom) during his first round match against Nicolas Mahut of France on Day Three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 23, 2010 in London, England. The match has become the longest in Grand Slam history. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)


When it was all done:


Mahut: "We played the greatest match ever in the greatest place to play tennis"

Isner: "The guy's an absolute warrior. To be able to share this day with him was an absolute honor."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Fashion Grades (Gentlemen)

The gentlemen, as usual, have less room for improvisation.

After last year's blingey kit, His Royal Goatness promised that this year's kit would follow the theme: "Less is More". For his warm up kit, he showed up in a mock turtleneck.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Roger Federer of Switzerland ahead of his first round match against Alejandro Falla of Columbia on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


And then he narrowly avoided the curse of the tuxedo in his 1st round comeback against Falla.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Roger Federer of Switzerland in action during his first round match against Alejandro Falla of Columbia on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Kudos to Nike for coming up with a kit that won't make a club player feel like a total wannabee (just a partial one).

Grade: A

The Mallorcan Matador usually tones down his florid kits for SW19. The only hint of color is the hot pink for the swoosh and the neck line. Surely the all-white rules of the AEC are more permissive, no?

Spain's Rafael Nadal walks onto Centre Court for his match against Japan's Kei Nishikori at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: B+

ARod has returned to the tri-colored polo in which he won Miami

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Andy Roddick of USA plays a shot during his first round match against Rajeev Ram of USA on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


While Lacoste is a fairly small fish compared to Nike and Adidas, it's a shame that with its heritage, it can't do more.

Grade: B+

Big Berd's swan-like polo is way too basic. His checkered Back Spin polo (white w/flat pewter) from Roland Garros would have worked better.

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic hits a return to Andrey Golubev of Kazikstan at the 2010 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: B-

The Djoker cannot be serious with his Sergio Tacchini kit with green piping. I don't think it fits his personality. ST has a white polo with a bold red stripe across that would have bought back the ghost of JMac.


LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a shot during his first round match against Olivier Rochus of Belgium on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Grade: B+

Despite his new Dunlop contract, Play Station still looks like he rolled out of bed, and has painted his old Prince sticks.

June 21, 2010 - United Kingdom - Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 21/6/10..Nikolay Davydenko of Russia looks dejected during his first round match.


Grade: C

Le Monf's skin is the only color or texture in this sleveless KSwiss kit.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Gael Monfils of France plays a shot during his first round match against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Grade: B-

For his compatriot Ali, why doesn't Adidas prohibit color photos of their player?

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hits a return to Robert Kendrick of the U.S. at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: B-

Adidas chooses to obfuscate the pink line under the arms of Britain's hopes for a Slam winner. I'm not sure whether Muzz's pressers bore me more than his kit.

Britain's Andy Murray hits a return to Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: B-

Wimbledon 2010: Fashion Grades (Ladies)

Wimbledon's "almost entirely white" dress code has given fairly narrow parameters for what can be worn on court. But as any artiste will tell you, narrow parameters ought to be an outlet for creativity. Ask any haiku poet what can be done with so little space. The sponsors for the pros this year have the opportunity to deck out folks in some interesting kits (with the approval of the All England Club). So here come fashion grades which are below their respective pictures.

Ever since Nike took over the designs for ReeRee's dress ReeRee decided to trust Nike's designers, ReeRee's kits have been excellent. The warmup top definitely departs from the traditional track suit or hoodie. Nor is it like anything the gentlemen's top seed has ever worn: blazer, jacket, or sweater. I'm not sure what to call it but classy it is (courtesy of Doots: it's a bolero).

Defending champion Serena Williams of the U.S. walks onto Centre Court to warm up before the start of her match against Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


It's great that her compression shorts offer a wonderful splash of color, which can't be said of the rest of the tour. It matches her laces and the piping on her dress.

Defending champion Serena Williams of the U.S. serves to Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: A+

Shrieka, Nike's glamazon, follows the same theme as ReeRee with a cropped blazer.

Russia's Maria Sharapova walks onto court for her match against Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


The folds in her dress offer an elegant touch. Most of her dresses this year have had fairly vibrant colors. For Wimbly, it's all traditional with just white and black.

Russia's Maria Sharapova blows a kiss after defeating Russia's Anastasia Pivovarova at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: A

Nails looks cute as usual, wearing a functional tank and skirt with ruffles.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Na Li of China in action during the first round match against Channelle Scheepers of South Africa on Day Two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Grade: B+

Nothing too special about Vika's dress except the ruffling on the shoulder straps.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates defeating Croatia's Mirjana Lucic at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: B+

Nor is there much special about Mum Train's dress.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Kim Clijsters of Belgium celebrates a point during her first round match against Maria Elena Camerin of Italy on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Grade: B

When even Bethanie Mattek-Sands tones down her Under Armour dress, you know the ladies mean business.

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands is well known for her wacky dress sense but seems to have added a few tattoo's to her wardrobe. Wimbledon Tennis Day 1. London. 21.06.10 Pic By Karl Winter Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


Only thing unorthodox about Betty is her tats. The tube socks are to be expected from her. The lime green accents on the dress would seem to work well on anyone except her.

Grade: B

For the former Brit #1, Wilson has really stepped up their designs putting a white dress with yellow straps. This complements Anne Keothavong's tan. (Then again, I have a weakness for fist pumping Asian tennis gals with a sense of humor).

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Anne Keothavong of Great Britain celebrates a point during her first round match against Anastasia Rodionova of Australia on Day Two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)


Grade: A-

Stella McCartney is the best Adidas can do with Caro. It's the same pattern that's won since Oz with a lace-like patterning but in white. The color actually works with Caro's skin and hair.

June 22, 2010 - Wimbledon, United Kingdom - epa02216722 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates a winner against Tathiana Garbin of Italy during their first round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 22 June 2010.


Grade: A-

When will Adidas realize that they have a swimsuit model in MaKiri? The red piping is nice on the Barricade tank top but it's time to move her to the more graceful Adilibria line.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Maria Kirilenko of Russia in action during the women s singles first round match against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Grade: B

Adidas has toned down the patterns in NaturAna's Adilibria dress. Yes, the leggings are part of the line, but they're not required with the dress. You have to squint to find anything beyond a plain white dress with pink contrast piping. Marginally more interesting than the Adidas kits shown so far.

June 21, 2010 - Wimbledon, United Kingdom - epa02215132 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia returns to Shahar Peer of Israel during their first round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 21 June 2010.


Ok, Adidas needs to hire better designers not reshuffle their athletes around.

Grade: B+

Super Hero's Lacoste white dress can actually be bought (which couldn't be said of her Oz and RG dresses) by you the consumer. As expected, it looks suitably preppy.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: Samantha Stosur of Australia in action during the first round match against Kaia Kanepi of Spain on Day Two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 22, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Grade: A-

I doubt Nads can pull off the ballet dancer theme.

Russia's Nadia Petrova reacts to winning a game in her match against Germany's Tatjana Malek at the 2010 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Grade: C

Although her movement is too gangly to qualify as balletic, Vee certainly has the body to look like a very tall ballet dancer. I like the print on the top of the dress but the fringes inspired by Tina Turner don't fit with the print.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Venus Williams of USA in action during her first round match against Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguayon Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Grade: B+

Now Lady JaJa does resemble a ballet dancer with her diva-ness and her movement. And the dress is the most successful effort.

June 21, 2010 - United Kingdom - Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 21/6/10..Serbia's Jelena Jankovic celebrates after winning her first round match.


Grade: A

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Federer Survives 1st Round Upset

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Roger Federer of Switzerland in action during his first round match against Alejandro Falla of Columbia on Day One of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Federer narrowly avoided an upset by Falla today to come back (5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 [1], 6-0). For the first four sets, Falla was really eating Fed's second serve alive and neutralizing him on the baseline. Falla was clearly playing the best match of his life, taking the ball early and moving forward. The momentum started changed when Fed saved a triple break point in the third set at 4-all. The first break point was saved when Falla sent a forehand long. The next two break point saves were set up by Fed's chip shot: Fed passed Falla with a backhand CC and then Falla put a makeable FH volley into the net. Strategically when Fed started to use the drop shot more, he began to establish control of the match. In the later stages of the match, Fed's movement was crisper than Falla's, and Falla started to make more unforced errors.



Despite Fed's excellent shotmaking, he knew he had to gut it out.

I definitely got very lucky out there today. I've lost many matches this year I should have won. This is one I should have lost.


June 21, 2010 - 06067859 date 21 06 2010 Copyright imago Hasenkopf Wimbledon 2010 Sports Tennis ITF Grand Slam Tournament a disappointed Alejandro Falla Col Emotion London Wimbledon All England Championships men Tennis ATP Tour Single Action shot Vdig xmk 2010 vertical Highlight premiumd.


Obviously if Falla had executed on a few points, the story could have been like this.

No matter what, I think Federer has to recognize that more and more guys are trying to attack his second serve. Sure, improving the serve is always a good thing (and I speak from experience because my best stroke is my serve). But one way to the counteract this pressure is to pressure your opponent's serve back. This is what Andre Agassi was so great at: hitting the serve on the rise, and hitting forceful service returns. Fed's strategy of block returns and chip returns is predicated on trying to reset the point to neutral, not grabbing the point. To this fan's eyes, it has become less and less effective as guys know that's what Fed does and have become better at stepping into those kinds of returns to take control of the point. Fed surely recognizes that he needs to improve on something if he hopes to enjoy the evening of his career, and this is the most glaring weakness in his game.

For post match interviews: see Federer and Falla.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hacking the Ball: the Reverse Forehand

Last night, while I was hitting with my friend Bruce, I announced to him, "Time to goof off a little". So as we continued to rally, everytime I had a chance to hit reverse forehands to his one handed backhand, I did (complete with a Rafa-like grunt). After a couple of those shots I noticed the fellas on the next court actually watching us. Now it isn't as if I've never done this before. It instinctively became my running forehand, and when the pundits pointed out that this was Rafa's go-to shot, I've started to practice this shot a bit more by using it when I have to pick up the ball off my laces when I warm up doing mini tennis. Most importantly, I sometimes pretend to be Rafa when I do some sessions with my ball machine (and I always end up laughing uncontrollably at the end) and

But I proceed too quickly. What is this new fangled thang, the reverse forehand? Well at its most essential, it's just like a regular forehand, but instead of hitting through the ball, one emphasizes brushing up and across the ball, and follows through on one's dominant side. As I've already said, this Spanish lefty has really bought the stroke to mainstream attention.



The Greatest Forehand Shanker below uses it as his backup to his preferred windshield wiper forehand (usually as his defensive shot).




Why do both of these fellows use it? Because a certain American old fogey loved to hit this shot on the run.



But really it isn't such a new thing, as gifted players have always figured out the obvious: if you brush up and across the ball, you will get more trajectory, more net clearance and more topspin. According to John Yandell, stroke guru extraordinaire, there's footage that goes way back showing luminaries such as Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe and Fred Perry the last Brit to win a slam, hitting this shot (here and here.)

So why do I laugh so hard when I try to practice this shot pretending to be Rafa? For one, it feels silly to be a total wannabee. My reverse forehand is as similar to Rafa's as your household cat is to a lion. Rafa can hit that shot in all sorts of positions and with all sorts of control. Me, I'm happy that I don't arm it, and that it ends up within a 10 degree arc of where I intended inside the court.

For another, it is hilarious to see many try to return the shot. My friend Bruce told me afterwards: it was awfully effective. The ball would clear the net by 20 feet, dive bomb near the baseline, and start to kick up over his head. Bruce told me he had to either step in and take it on the rise, or try to punch it at his shoulder. If he didn't react quick enough, the ball might sail over his head.

Third, one thing I've noticed that when I've had the privilege of playing some honest-to-god advanced players (someone who is USTA rated above a 4.0 without any sweat) is they can get some pretty wide angles with their groundies. By that I mean their balls will cross the sideline near the service box, and you might end up hitting the ball near the fence (or the next court over). If their forehand put you in that position, you can bet they hit a reverse forehand to create that kind of angle.

Next, it's just a reality of tennis that you're going to have to play defensive tennis. You're going to have to hit a forehands (or backhands) on the run. Pros have gravitated to the reverse forehand as their bread and butter shot on the run for very good reasons: it works. As the cliche goes, defense wins championships. Wouldn't it be nice to have play good defensive tennis when you have to?

Finally, it's something I don't see a lot of intermediate-level players do, and it feels great to have a trick in my bag that not many will use. Admittedly, one should learn to hit consistently through the ball first. But if you know how to do that, why not try it out? Pitchers have to throw something besides fastballs.

UPDATE: here's some great instructional videos on how to hit the reverse forehand.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wimbledon 2010 Prognostications

Wimbledon preparations.


The peak of the professional tennis season climaxes at Wimbledon, which really needs no introduction. If Roland Garros could be called the dirty Slam, this is the Lawn Slam. Name all the old school stuff, Wimbledon has it: strawberries and cream, serve and volley tactics, whites, cathedral-like atmosphere, prestige, royalty (the Queen Lizzy is paying a visit), and even a poet. Then we get to see shots like this.



Tournament Site: here

Draws: gentlemen's singles and ladies' singles

Wimbledon Winners Party 2009


Men



1st Quarter: Fed won his 15th Slam in an emotional victory over ARod last year, and is looking to tie Pistol Pete's record of winning seven titles at the All England Club. Other seeds in his quarter to watch out for: Play Station who is coming back from a wrist injury, Big Berd who may finally be living up to his talent this year (RG and Miami), Melzer who is coming off a solid clay season and Feli who beat Rafa in Queen's this year with a run to the final there. Out of these folks, Feli and Big Berd have the kind of games that translate well on grass with Big Berd carrying the confidence of a recent win against Fed in Miami. However, this is Wimbledon, and I expect Fed to be able to beat Big Berd in the quarters should he meet him.

Roger Federer wins Wimbledon 2009


Lurker: Feli

Semifinalist: Fed

2nd Quarter: The Djoker has never seemed comfortable on grass. This year, he's coming into the tournament with some serious questions about his game. Is he fit enough to go the distance of a five-setter? Can he close out matches where he's in control? Is his serve a reliable weapon? In the top half of his quarter, the most serious threat to him is Rusty who knows a thing or two about playing on grass with titles at Wimbledon, Queen's and Halle. If he gets past a potential meeting with Hewitt in the 4th round, he faces potential opponents in Cilic, Ljubs, Kohli and ARod, all of whom are dangerous. Cilic has obviously shown a lot of potential with his run at Oz, but he has not (yet) played consistently at a high level to prove he can make a deep run here. Ljubs is at the tail end of his career but as you would expect for any great server, he can never be counted out on the green stuff. Kohli was the only person other than ARod to take a set off of Fed last year. ARod is certainly hungry to win his first Wimbledon and is always in the conversation as a potential winner.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2009 Day Nine


Lurker: Ljubs

Semifinalist: ARod


3rd Quarter: Muzz always has to carry the Brit hopes at Wimbly. He'll probably get to bow to the Royal Box on June 24 when the Her Royal Majesty plans to attend. Regardless, Muzz has to love his draw: Nando and Mosquito would be threats on clay but not on grass. Ali and Samurai have the kind of games that translate well to grass. Ali's chances seem questionable as he's recovering from a hip injury, and he is playing Wimbly for the third time in his career, having missed the tourney in the past due to injuries. Samurai is, of course, coming in with a lot of confidence from winning Queen's. Look for Muzz to repeat his semifinal appearance of last year.

Andy Murray Wimbledon 2009


Lurker: Samurai

Semifinalist: Muzz


4th Quarter: Rafa is coming off a phenomenal clay court season and is the pick of many pundits to win the whole thang. But Rafa would be the first to avoid premature speculation in a tourney. The tried and true way to beat Rafa on a fast surface is to take time away from him by hitting big. His potential path to the semis could traverse through a murderer's row of big hitters: Blah, Gulby, Tree/Misha or Sod. However, things might not be so bad for him as Blah and Gulby are dealing with injuries. This year Tree has shown lots of mental toughness with a game that goes beyond a big serve and is surely going to ascend the rankings this summer as he missed most of last year due to mono. Sod will look to show that his loss to Rafa at RG is not a return to the status quo.

Still, many of the reasons for Rafa's great clay court season do translate well to fast courts: he's flattening out his forehand more, looking to shorten points, trying to get to net, and defending his service games extremely well. And he's still the fiercest competitor on the tour today.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2008 Day Thirteen


Lurker: Tree

Semifinalist: Rafa

I'm going out on a limb to predict that we'll see a repeat of Oz, because I want Fed to punch his teeth out in front of his home crowd.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Murray of Great Britain pose for a official photo before the men's final during day fourteen of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Semifinals: Fed d. ARod, Muzz d. Rafa

Finals: Fed d. Muzz


Women



1st Quarter: ReeRee is the no-brainer pick of many to defend her title. That said, things aren't easy for her in her quarter as she faces bashers like Shrieka, Nails and Sveta. Aggie has been consistent but simply doesn't have the weapons to be much of a threat on grass. Sveta could be finding her form again after having a terrible spring, making it the quarters in Eastbourne. Nails is bringing in a lot of confidence from beating Shrieka in Birmingham in grass. But at the end of the day ReeRee is just a tougher player to beat at a Slam and especially Wimbledon.

Serena Williams Wimbledon 2009


Lurker: Sveta

Semifinalist: ReeRee


2nd Quarter: For a "pusher"/retriever, it's a bit of a surprise that this is Caro's favorite surfaces. She faces a tough opponents: a flat-hitting ball machine in JZ (and who has made the semis), Vika her brainless ball bashing BFF, the hardest hitter per bound in Glitter, and then Sam who hits the heaviest balls in the WTA. But forget tennis, Stella McCartney hasn't really improve the kit for their glamor gal on grass.

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a shot..Aegon International Eastbourne..Caroline Wozniacki v Aravane Rezai..15th June, 2010.


Lurker: JZ

Semifinalist: Sam

3rd Quarter: Lady JaJa was unceremoniously dumped last year by someone who supposedly had no weapons: Melanie Oudin who is in her quarter again. Even if she doesn't face the young American, her half of the quarter has potential 4th round opponents in Whoopie and Bepa. She then faces potential quarterfinal opponents in Mum Train who played great this week in Eastbourne, MaKiri who is always a tough fighter, Allez Bitch whom she has a poor record against and Nads who might get it together mentally to go deep in a Slam. Allez Bitch's coach considers her a dark horse to win Wimbly. And he's right. Her serve hasn't been consistent and her revamped game to be more aggressive is still a work in progress.

Jelena Jankovic is down and out following her third round defeat Wimbledon Tennis Day 6. L


Lurker: Riske, Allez Bitch

Semifinalist: Mum Train


4th Quarter: It's no secret that Vee feels in her element on grass, having won SW19 five times. And surely she has to love her draw. While Franny is coming off the win of her career in Paris, her heavy use of topspin doesn't translate well from clay to grass. Shvedova is likewise coming off a great run in Paris but I would be surprised if she made a deep run again. Mono has made it to the finals, and has the kind of Seles-like game that can do well on grass, but her serve isn't the kind of weapon needed to win it all on grass. Klebs does hit hard but her herky jerky mechanics would be more of a liability on the slippery stuff. Baby Hippo isn't likely to repeat her semifinal appearance given that she's returning from an almost career-ending back injury. Peer is slated to meet Vee in the 4th round, but the moons would have to align for her to beat Vee (i.e. she has to play of this world and Vee has to play like crap).


The Championships, Wimbledon 02/07/2009 Venus Williams (USA) celebrates as she wins Semi-final Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International


Lurkers: None that I can see

Semifinalist: Vee




Well, I expect ReeRee to shout "Victory is mine" at SW19. Sam won't be able to run around her backhand as easily on grass in order to have a good chance of beating ReeRee. Vee has better grass court credentials than Mum Train. In an all-Williams final, it will be close but ReeRee's form is less likely to break down than Vee.

Semifinals: ReeRee d. Sam, Vee d. Mum Train

Finals: ReeRee d. Vee

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Seedings and the Practice Courts

Wimbledon announced its seedings for the championships this year


1 Roger FEDERER (SUI)
2 Rafael NADAL (ESP)
3 Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)
4 Andy MURRAY (GBR)
5 Andy RODDICK (USA)
6 Robin SODERLING (SWE)
7 Nikolay DAVYDENKO (RUS)
8 Fernando VERDASCO (ESP)
9 David FERRER (ESP)
10 Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA)
11 Marin CILIC (CRO)
12 Tomas BERDYCH (CZE)
13 Mikhail YOUZHNY (RUS)
14 Juan Carlos FERRERO (ESP)
15 Lleyton HEWITT (AUS)
16 Jurgen MELZER (AUT)
17 Ivan LJUBICIC (CRO)
18 Sam QUERREY (USA)
19 Nicolas ALMAGRO (ESP)
20 Stanislas WAWRINKA (SUI)
21 Gael MONFILS (FRA)
22 Radek STEPANEK (CZE)
23 Feliciano LOPEZ (ESP)
24 John ISNER (USA)
25 Ivo KARLOVIC (CRO)
26 Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP)
27 Thomaz BELLUCCI (BRA)
28 Gilles SIMON (FRA)
29 Ernests GULBIS (LAT)
30 Albert MONTANES (ESP)
31 Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
32 Tommy ROBREDO (ESP)


The major departures from the current rankings are: Fed over Rafa even though Rafa is the current world #1, ARod over Sod and Playstation and Ferrer over Tsonga. The Rafa-Fed switch can be explained by Fed's record at Wimbledon as the defending champion, and is really not that significant at the end as they both get their own quarter. ARod's relatively high seeding is due to his status as the runner up last year, but he's probably crossing his finger's that he won't be assigned to Fed's quarter.

BTW, there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth over these departures from the ATP rankings. Some think Rafa is getting dissed. Rest assured, Wimbledon didn't cut a back room deal with the Federer camp: they employ this numerical formula (beautifully explained here): 100% of points from your ATP rankings + 75% of points from your best grass court performance in the past 12 months.



1 Serena WILLIAMS (USA)
2 Venus WILLIAMS (USA)
3 Caroline WOZNIACKI (DEN)
4 Jelena JANKOVIC (SRB)
5 Francesca SCHIAVONE (ITA)
6 Samantha STOSUR (AUS)
7 Agnieszka RADWANSKA (POL)
8 Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL)
9 Na LI (CHN)
10 Flavia PENNETTA (ITA)
11 Marion BARTOLI (FRA)
12 Nadia PETROVA (RUS)
13 Shahar PEER (ISR)
14 Victoria AZARENKA (BLR)
15 Yanina WICKMAYER (BEL)
16 Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS)
17 Justine HENIN (BEL)
18 Aravane REZAI (FRA)
19 Svetlana KUZNETSOVA (RUS)
20 Dinara SAFINA (RUS)
21 Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS)
22 Maria Jose MARTINEZ SANCHEZ (ESP)
23 Jie ZHENG (CHN)
24 Daniela HANTUCHOVA (SVK)
25 Lucie SAFAROVA (CZE)
26 Alisa KLEYBANOVA (RUS)
27 Maria KIRILENKO (RUS)
28 Alona BONDARENKO (UKR)
29 Anastasia PAVLYUCHENKOVA (RUS)
30 Yaroslava SHVEDOVA (KAZ)
31 Alexandra DULGHERU (ROU)
32 Sara ERRANI (ITA)


There are no major departures from the current rankings amongst the ladies. Safina gets no benefit from her grass court performance from last year since she's been off the tour due to injury. And, sadly, Demy is out of Wimbledon due to injury. Some might give Masha and Allez Bitch higher seedings but frankly both are on the comeback trail (Masha due to injury and Allez Bitch due to a return from retirement).

In other news, the Greatest Forehand Shanker is working on his inside out forehand.



He'll need that to avoid all those serves this Mallorcan Lefty likes to hit to his backhand.



Shrieka will need to hit a lot of running forehands as there's a whole new generation who've adopted her ball bashing style.