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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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CNNSI: Parting Shots (Wimbledon Wrap)

Parting shotsJon Wertheim, SI.com


Here are 50 Stateside Wimbledon observations, trying to incorporate as many of your questions as possible. We'll be back next week with a regular Mailbag. ...

1. If you didn't smile watching Venus Williams elevate her game, stave off a match point and then go positively nuts with joy after she won her first Major since 2001, consult your cardiologist. We imagine Joe Sports Fan will read the headline "Williams Wins Wimbledon" and shrug ("Those girls always win, don't they?") not realizing how remarkable this narrative was.

2. "Venus needs a new coach. Venus needs to retool her forehand. Venus is vulnerable to pressure on her second serve. Venus has lost interest in tennis. Venus never recovered from surrendering to Serena." Raise your hand if you're not standing in the buffet line for crow right now.

3. So much for the curse of Rochey. Roger Federer three-peats as Champion and revives discussion that there has never been a more gifted man to pick up a racket. One devote a book to Federer' brilliance, but here's something that struck me: For all the talk of grunting and other sound effects, Federer plays utterly silent tennis.

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5. Nice tournament for Lleyton Hewitt, who lived up to his seeding before running into the Federer Express in the semifinals. For those scoring at home, Hewitt now has lost to the eventual champ in the last six Slams he's entered.

6. In a stunning upset, qualifiers Stephen Huss of Australia and Wesley Moodie of South Africa won the doubles title beating Bob and Mike Bryan in the final. The Bryans now have reached the finals of the first three Slams of 2005.

7. Never mind his tennis. It was a great tournament for Andy Roddick in the one-liner department. We liked this one after final, addressing Federer's virtuosity: "He figured out a away to pass me, even though I was at the baseline!"

8. Cara Black has won the ladies' doubles title for the second straight year. She and South African Liezel Huber routed Amelie Mauresmo and Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-1 in just 61 minutes.

9. A tip of the cap to Lindsay Davenport who, of course, came within a point of winning the women's title. For someone who worried a year ago that she wasn't competing for Majors, she's sure challenged well this past year. Plus the U.S. Open begins in just seven weeks. If there is any karmic justice in this sport. ...

10. Can we please stop with the "Maria Sharapova is more concerned about endorsements than tennis" trope? Okay, she failed the defend her title and has been getting more air time of late then Sandra Day O'Connor. But Sharapova's commitment and her competitive instincts are beyond reproach.

11. In what was only the third junior girls' final featuring two unseeded players since seeds were introduced in 1977, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska overcame the brave challenge of Austria's Tamira Paszek, 6-3, 6-4.

12. Donald Young, the much hyped American junior lost in the semifinals of the boys event to unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France.

13. Chardy went on to win the Boys' Singles title, defeating Robin Haase.

14. The boys doubles winners were Americans Jesse Levine and Michael Shabaz, who defeated Britain's Andrew Kennaugh and Samuel Groth of Austria. The winning girls partnership was Viktoria Azarenka and Agnes Szavay.

15. The mixed-doubles title went to Mary Pierce and Mahesh Bhupathi, who defeated Paul Hanley and Tatiana Perebiynis in the finals.

16. For two straight years now, Mauresmo has been up a set and a break in the Wimbledon semifinals and lost.

17. The ATP announced radical changes for doubles, set to take effect in September. No-ad sets will be played to five games (that was not a typo) and will feature a tiebreaker at 4-4. We haven't heard the end of this, but if it achieves the goal of inducing more stars to play alongside a partner, it won't seem as outrageous as it does now.

18. Speaking of doubles, Todd Woodbridge announced is retirement from tennis last week. Start clearing some wall space in Newport, boys.

19. Stat that somehow has escaped all of Britain: Tim Henman has never won a grass-court tournament in his career.

20. File this one away: The week's Sports Illustrated features a list of the wealthiest athletes and includes a sidebar on the most philanthropic. Andre Agassi not only tops the list with charity contributions, exceeding $11 million, but gives more than twice as much as the next athlete, Lance Armstrong. For perspective, Tiger Woods, the wealthiest on the planet, contributes $1.5 million.

21. We'll say this about Richard Williams: the man can accessorize.

22. Oracene Williams remains the only tennis parent to clap when her daughter's opponent hits a winner to stave off a set point. Man, when history retells the Williams story, we hope she gets her due.

23. Anastasia Myskina lost to Mauresmo in the quarters, but nice to see her fight to win a series of tight, bizarrely see-saw matches.

24. Wonder what Anna Kournikova is up to? She's playing World TeamTennis. But she's also ... well, check out this email I just got: "Amazon.com is celebrating its 10th anniversary by partnering with UPS to make 'Special Deliveries; to customers by their favorite entertainers. Two customers who recently ordered products at Amazon.com will get the surprise of their lives when Kasey Kahne and Anna Kournikova deliver the items to the customer's door, themselves!"

25. Here's a good read by Tennis Magazine's Stephen Tignor on the technical awkwardness of Rafael Nadal.

26. Andrew Murray received a wild card to the Campbell's event in Newport, R.I. This tournament has a field that can pale in comparison to a $50,000 USTA challenger, but you can't beat the setting. If you're in the market for a tournament to attend, here's the link.

27. Joachim Johansson and Mario Ancic, both Wimbledon disappointments, dropped their coaches last week.

28. This is the coolest site we've come across in a long time.

29. By my book learnin', Martina Navratilova is now within $500,000 of Steffi Graf's career prize-money record of $21,895,277. (Of course, with all that long-term annuity confusion, who knows how much Graf is worth today.)

30. Feliciano Lopez loses in the first round of the French Open but reaches the Wimbledon quarters. Not often we write that about a Spaniard.

31. You know who is a surprisingly gifted volleyer? Guillermo Coria, that's who.

32. Speaking of Coria, he may have gone out to Roddick in round four, but he apparently won the first best-of-six match in Wimbledon history. According to the Prince Play of the Day, Coria beat Xavier Malisse 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 and 6-4.

33. We got a fair amount of mail this week about Guillermo Canas allegedly failing a drug test -- the fourth Argentine, for those of you scoring at home. Quite frankly, this was the worst-kept secret in tennis. The news reminded me of this exchange from 2002 after Canas outlasted the super-fit Hewitt at the French Open, a win that raised some eyebrows in the press room:

Q: Canas is able to play four hours and 28 minutes one day, four hours and 13 minutes today, is he Superman or what?

Hewitt: He's pretty strong. You know, there's times where -- I've said this in the past -- where you think he's looking a bit tired, but then he bounces back pretty well.

34. Speaking of Hewitt, here's part of a charm offensive following his semifinal loss to Federer:

Q: How do you stay so relentlessly positive? A lot of times if they lost to Federer eight times in a row, they might be a lot more disconsolate than you are right now. Where does that come from?

Hewitt: I don't know. That's probably why I'm sitting here and you're sitting there.

35. Goodbye, Mondrian Hotel, hello Hesperides. The WTA Tour announced the 2006 WTA Tour Championships have been awarded to Madrid, Spain. The Championships will be held at the Madrid Arena, home of the ATP Masters Series Madrid since '02. Sports Promotions Inc. (SPI) will promote the championships through a significant marketing and advertising campaign, hoping to enhance the global prestige and exposure of this $3 million tennis event.

36. Taylor Dent is the Gonzaga of Wimbledon. He'll never win the whole shebang, but he's good for a few good wins. And man, does his unique style (serve-and-volley it's called; kids, ask your grandparents what it means!) make him easy a root for.

37. Using the same logic, Justin Gimelstob is Princeton.

38. Look for Brad Dancer, who has coached Amanda Coetzer, among other pros, to be named the new head coach at the University of Illinois.

39. Martin Burkey of Hunstville, Ala., rightly points out that Dent and the faux Jaden Gil Agassi got more air time than other players these past two weeks.

40. Can Kim Clijsters, Mauresmo, and Nadia Petrova get a group rate on a sports psychologist?

41. All credit to Mitch Kohn of West Hollywood, Calif. Months ago he told us to keep an eye on Kveta Peschke (nee Hrdlickova) and commended her on a (late) career year. This past week, she held two match points before going down to Petrova in the Wimbledon round of 16.

"We read a lot about the top players (and I'm sure Venus, etc. will be at the top of the mailbag list when Wimbledon is done)," writes Mitch. "So now could you find it in your heart to give her the one American shout-out Kveta will probably ever get?" You got it.

42. Here's a piece waiting to be written: Remember the "emerging WTA stars" on Wimbledon 1999? Alexandra Stevenson hasn't won a Grand Slam match since and became better known for her parentage than for her tennis. Mirjana Lucic dropped like a stone and hasn't been heard from in years. Jelena Dokic is now out of the top 400. I smell an HBO Real Sports segment.

43. Speaking of missing in action, honk if you've seen the legion of Chinese players.

44. Apropos our discussion a few weeks back, our friend Frank Deford writes: "It is understood in sport that sometimes you get lucky, but in tennis if you get lucky and your shot hits the net and trickles over, you must apologize to your opponent."

45. Insert Brick House joke here: Lionel Richie plans to join Roddick in order to raise funds for children in need. A private Richie concert will be added as a kick-off to the fifth annual Andy Roddick Charity Weekend scheduled December 9-11. Richie is scheduled to perform on Friday, Dec. 9, starting at 9 p.m. at the new, state-of-the-art Seminole Hard Rock Live.

46. Pete Bodo noted this as well in his excellent Tennis World column. But here's a real telling line from Federer. Asked about the prospect of playing Hewitt he remarked, "Now against Lleyton, I'm really looking forward because this time he's fit, not like in Indian Wells, you know, where I don't really count that match. It's going to be interesting to see."

Not a lot players look forward to rematch because they felt their last win was cheapened by the other guy's injury.

47. By the way, Bodo's best line was referring to Feliciano Lopez as the "tougher-than-he-looks, mad crazy serving-and-volleying disco monster and chick magnet."

48. It's the battle of the Martinas, when Hingis travels to the campus of Harvard to face Navratilova and her Boston Lobsters at Bright Arena in Cambridge, Mass., this Thursday. For tickets call the Boston Lobsters -- 877-617-LOBS (5627).

49. As egregious as some of the umpiring has been at recent Slams, the folks in the chairs were really on their game at Wimbledon. Judicious overrules, consistently accurate line calls, no phantom points in tie-breakers.

50. Note to Genworth Financial: Now that the tournament is over, can you at least tell us who won that damn point? Steffi or Andre?

Have a great week, everyone!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:14 PM
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Knizzle raises his hand in response to #2
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:16 PM
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I was looking forward to seeing what this sh*t's reaction was to Vee winning the title

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knizzle
Knizzle raises his hand in response to #2
Lucky you. This crow tastes awful I said at some point Venus could do with some work on her forehand, but it looked very strong in the semis and final.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Wertheim
42. Here's a piece waiting to be written: Remember the "emerging WTA stars" on Wimbledon 1999? Alexandra Stevenson hasn't won a Grand Slam match since and became better known for her parentage than for her tennis. Mirjana Lucic dropped like a stone and hasn't been heard from in years. Jelena Dokic is now out of the top 400. I smell an HBO Real Sports segment.

43. Speaking of missing in action, honk if you've seen the legion of Chinese players.

Jon should really start reading this board. If he had been reading here he would have known Mirjana was in the qualies in Dothan a while ago rather than not being heard of in years and he'd know exactly why the Chinese players were not at Wimbledon.


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
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Knizzle raises his hand in response to #2
Knizzle is joined by another poster who's name starts with a K.

And I'm so glad he mentioned Oracene. She truly does seem to appreciate good tennis, no matter who is producing it.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM
Veelieve!!!
 
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As a vegetarian, I must say that crow tastes nasty
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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And for #51, he left off that he's been fired. Or at least we could only hope. lol
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:49 PM
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Oracene is one of the best if the best.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:51 PM
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I raise my hand to none because I knew all along that all Vee needed to do is play a lot of matches and everything would be good. I never lost faith in her.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Read my sig

I admit I had to take a little nibble of crow myself. Even though I never gave up on her coming back, I'd have never believed she'd do it at this year's Wimby.

Venus and Serena are sitting on top of the WORLD

~Venus and now Serena are the worst thing to ever happen to the crow~

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Oracene is right up there with Karolj Seles as classiest tennis parents. Ever.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 07:04 PM
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Man I can't wait til martina takes another record possibly next year when she gets the most money ever by a woman.




















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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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I don't think he gave Mary Pierce enough credit. She made the quarters, had five set points on the eventual champ Williams AND she took her first Wimbledon title in the mixed -- from outta nowhere! Nobody expected mary to do very well on her worst surface, so I think she deserves a bit more ink than Feliciano Lopez, et all.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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I agree...Mary Pierce deserved more praise. She was one cross-court backhand from a 3rd set with Venus.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark38
I don't think he gave Mary Pierce enough credit. She made the quarters, had five set points on the eventual champ Williams AND she took her first Wimbledon title in the mixed -- from outta nowhere! Nobody expected mary to do very well on her worst surface, so I think she deserves a bit more ink than Feliciano Lopez, et all.
I second that totally!
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