Germany are the bookies' favourites to win the Hopman Cup this year. They're my picks to make it to the final from Group B. Argentina will be their toughest assignment.
I have been waiting 9 years for Nicolas Kiefer to come and play in Perth!!! Finally, he's HERE!!! I went to watch him today. Got great seats - 2nd row in the corporate stand! Got to see Nic right up close and personal. Will get to see him again on Thursday!!!
Nic played awesome in the singles and really held the team together in the mixed doubles. He gave Anna-Lena the confidence she needed to lift her game at the right time. Both Germans are looking slimmer and fitter this year. It looks like Nic has added some power behind his serves. He will have a great Aussie summer regardless of how well Germany performs in the rest of this tournament.
Yes, Nic DID shave his legs! Noticeably no hair whatsoever down there! I think it's mostly for therapeutical purposes. When players get massaged or taped, the less hair there is on their legs, the better it feels when the massage oil is applied or when the tape is ripped off their ankles, knees, calves or thighs (not that many players put gauze tape on their thighs).
He also has a serving and receiving ritual. The serving is where he takes three balls from the ball kid to his right. Then he steps in front of the baseline and then steps back onto it before returning the ball he doesn't like and stares at the ball kid until he or she is in place before he serves. When receiving, Nic has to touch the outside corner of the court with his racquet or foot before being in readiness for receiving serve. I never noticed that he had that many rituals before. Now I know.
"There are more dogs than women in the locker rooms" - Liz Smylie
"I'm really feeling my balls" - Serena Williams
"She had him in her box... It made his week!" - Tracy Austin
"Tell us Rafa, what else do you do with your right hand?" - Todd Woodbridge
"I have a pain here, in my famous ass" - Rafael Nadal
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