Saturday, November 27, 2010

London: WTF Semis

The top 4 players in the world squared off in the O2 Arena in London.


These two boys trained in the physical and mentally grinding Spanish style sure do love each other.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) hugs Andy Murray of Great Britain (R) after winning his men's semi-final match during the ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 27, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)



Ahndee Muurrey played the aggressive tennis that we know he's capable of, and had the match on his racket until he played two loose drop shots on his serve early in the 3rd set to let Rafa back in the match.

Mandy this is why you need to show no mercy when you have a short ball from Rafa. Rip a forehand instead of going for too much drop shit. Because eventually he'll wrong foot you and you could hurt yourself slamming on the brakes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Andy Murray of Great Britain falls on the ground during his men's semi-final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during the ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 27, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Then again maybe the reasons Mandy can't win the big matches are his facial expressions.

TMF was in full Jedi mode playing fantastic defense to frustrate Nole to a 61 64 victory. Fed has not dropped a set in London.



Frankly Nole didn't look mentally sharp and seemed to miss that extra bit of determination to dig out a win. My guess is that he was looking at a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win the Davis Cup at home in Serbia.

On Sunday, whose box does Maradona choose to sit in?

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) and Former Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona attend the ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 23, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)






Oh, BTW, I'm cheering for Barca in El Classico tomorrow to beat Real Madrid with two most hated men in soccer: the Special One and Ronaldo (sorry Rafa). For you philistines about soccer, it's the biggest rivalry match in Spain's premier league.

Friday, November 26, 2010

London: WTF ... Cheesy Rock Star Entrances

As the season winds up, the World Tour Finals in London need to hype up the matches by introducing the players with cheesy rock star entrances.

You can almost hear Rafa saying "What's happening here? Why do they make me walk through this smoke?"

Spain's Rafael Nadal arrives for his singles tennis match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals in London November 24, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS IMAGES OF THE DAY)


TMF is looking pretty sultry here.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives on court before his men's singles first round match against David Ferrer of Spain during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


The Djoker is a man of the people making fun of his eye troubles from the previous night.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic wears an eyepatch as he arrives for his singles match against Andy Roddick of the U.S. at the ATP World Tour Finals in London November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Sod looks awkward.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Robin Soderling of Sweden walks onto the court before his men's singles first round match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Ferru is trying to enjoy his chance to hang out in the pantheon.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: David Ferrer of Spain walks on to the court during his men's singles match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 25, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Chin up, Murray, you're playing in front of your home crowd.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Andy Murray of Great Britain walks onto the court before his men's singles first round match against Robin Soderling of Sweden during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


At least your terrier Maggie enjoys the media attention.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remembrances of the Fall Indoor Season 2010

Sorry for the radio silence over the last month and a half. My excuse is that I've been busy with a job transition. As Rafa's Knees tweeted over a month ago, the fall indoor season is anti-climatic as the pros are clearly looking forward to the off-season. A collage of images start blurring one into another as the season winds down.

In yet another apparent shock to the credibility of the WTA, a new slamless world #1 was crowned: Caro.

BEIJING - OCTOBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark poses for photographers after securing the world number 1 ranking on the WTA Tour after her win over Petra Kvitova the Czech Republic during day seven of the 2010 China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 7, 2010 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Lots of people hate on her game, and her lack of big time results this year (not even a finals appearance in the Slams). While I prefer the all court tennis of Henin and Federer, I respect the counterpunching grinding tennis that Caro plays. It's very difficult to sustain a rally for 20+ strokes without missing, and getting balls back with just enough interest to make them miss. If you haven't tried to do this yourself, it's very easy to sit on a couch and call that "pushing." At any rate, Caro has the mental strength and willingness to improve her game that she will win a Slam one day. Yeah, I know ReeRee has merely won AO and Wimbly out of the 6 tournaments she played, but as the Woody Allen said, part of life is showing up. It's a professional tennis player's job to stay healthy so that they can compete. ReeRee hasn't done that and she knows she should. Lots of people think Caro is like Lady JaJa because of her lack of apparent weapons. However, like Tigs I think she's a lot more like the Rafinator who celebrates every victory like he had just won Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his win over Viktor Troicki of Serbia after the semi-finals match at the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Rafa took home a measly title in Tokyo and was ousted in Bangkok and Beijing but after his stellar three Slam year he can be allowed a mediocre Fall season (by his standards).

On the other hand, the Greatest Shanker of All Time has been closeted. Jedi Fed his best game at this time of the year, getting to the semis of Paris, the finals of Shanghai, and winning Stockholm & Basel. But, clearly, winning in front of his two cute daughters in his hometown tournament was the most emotionally significant for him. If the Logo is an emotional basket case when he wins a Slam for a significant record (exhibit: the tears streaming down his cheek at Roland Garros 2009), can you imagine the blubbering speech he'll give when his daughters are old enough to walk out on court when he wins his next Slam?



Muzzard, of course, won Shanghai by beating Federer. Kudos to him for executing the game plan of forcing Fed to try to win with his backhand. The moment of the trophy ceremony has to be win the MC calls out Muzz for not smiling (4:09). Such a bright and cheery lad!



But the absolute highlight of the fall tennis season, by far, is the debut of Andy Murray's dog, Maggie, on twitter. That cute thang tweeted after Andy's victory:

Can't decide if the weird blue thing or the rolex is a better chew toy for me.


Of course, when you're the beloved of a tennis superstar, life just gets too stressful sometimes watching him run down a lot of balls.