Showing posts with label Tennis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tennis. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2012


I had completely forgotten about Wimbledon, what with the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics this summer.

How daunting must it be to have to hold this tournament in the middle between these two events, and how difficult it must be to live in London and environs right now. Is it possible that this will make this year's tournament better, or worse? I have no idea.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is Why I Don't Watch Tennis

[They removed the video -

I had a swell piece of video, and because the Worldwide Leader is a cheap punk in a cheap suit, the video has been yanked. Everyone is so afraid of ESPN that all they have to do is whine to YouTube and the embarrassing video gets yanked. Well, talk about stepping on customer interest in the content you provide as a virtual monopoly.

If that's NOT what happened here, my bad. But, as a blogger, I am sick and goddamned tired of this whole "video has been removed because of a terms of service blah blah blah" thing. Cowboy the hell up, YouTube. Make them sue you. Make them prove that what you've done is wrong. You are not stealing their content. You are letting us show just what a ridiculous jackass they have hired in Pam Shriver. ]

The end is getting sad and ugly for James Blake, but this was just ridiculous.

Blake has lost his confidence, his fire, his want-to. He was crushed Tuesday by Robin Haase, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round of Wimbledon, and then talked about the possibility of retiring soon.

But his frustration came out, as Blake got into an argument with ESPN analyst Pam Shriver, a former player. Shriver and Blake were bickering, and he even ended up calling her an ass. On court. During the match.

People will be looking for an apology from Blake now, another embarrassment for an aging former star whose career is going, going ...

And I'll say this: He should apologize for the way he is playing.

But as for the other stuff? Shriver and ESPN should apologize to Blake.

This was Shriver's fault, and she should have been kicked out.

Leaving aside the ridiculousness of yelling at someone in a broadcast booth who can be overheard calling you a putz, where on Earth does any sport allow this to happen?

If this happened on a golf course, they'd wear out the turnstiles throwing people out.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serena Williams Loses a Match on a Technicality

Remember when John McEnroe would let his mouth get him into trouble?
Serena Williams, the defending United States Open champion, lost her semifinals match in the United States Open to Kim Clijsters in the most shocking and improbable manner Saturday night, stunning the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

When a lineswoman called Williams for a foot fault to set up match point for Clijsters, Williams argued spitefully and then berated the judge with profanity. She picked up a second code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, but she had no points left to give.

Clijsters, the 26-year-old making a joyful return to tennis after a two-year retirement, had mostly outplayed Williams to that point, but she never got to play match point. Williams came over to Clijsters and shook her hand as Clijsters, a wild-card entry to start the tournament, advanced to the finals of the Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory that will almost certainly prove as memorable as it was contentious.

It was the first time Clijsters had reached a Grand Slam final since she won her only Grand Slam tournament — the Open — in 2005. She will face Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3, 6-3, in the other semifinal.

“I am still in shock,” Clijsters said after dispatching the defending champion.

Brian Earley, the tournament referee, explained that “she said something to a line umpire, it was reported to the chair and that resulted in a point penalty and it just happened that point penalty was match point,” he said.

As the line judge approached the chair umpire and reported what Williams said, Williams responded incredulously on court: “I didn’t say I would kill you, are you serious? I didn’t say that.”

This is the sort of thing that makes discussions about composure so valuable in sports. You have to maintain that composure. LeGarrette Blount wishes he had held on to his, perhaps. His lack of composure hurt his team but didn't cost them a game. The rules of tennis are oriented around polite conduct, and that's why Serena Williams is out of the U.S. Open.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wagering on Wimbledon

Really, who would bet on tennis?

Wagering on a Wimbledon match soared after a TV commentator pointed out one of the players is injured, an online bookmaker said Wednesday.

The British bookmaker, Betfair, alerted tennis corruption investigators about the unusual betting patterns for the first-round match Tuesday between 109th-ranked Wayne Odesnik of the United States and 30th-ranked Jurgen Melzer of Austria, but does not suspect any wrongdoing, spokesman Mark Davies said.

Davies said Betfair received more than six times as many wagers as it would normally receive for such a match. Melzer's odds "shortened significantly," Davies said, after a TV announcer noted shortly before the match that Odesnik has a thigh injury. Melzer won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Betfair received about $980,000 in wagers on the match, Davies said; the average for a first-round match at Wimbledon is less than $163,000.

"It's being reported as potential corruption, but I don't see it that way at all," Davies told The Associated Press. "I doubt that there was any wrongdoing."

Still, Betfair has reported the heavy betting to the International Tennis Federation's integrity unit.

Must be a Eurotrash thing. In this country, we have the "injury report" that comes out in the various sports. In Basketball, a player is either injured or he is not and there's very little room for doubt when the team walks out onto the floor and the player in question is wearing a suit and tie. In football, the idea that someone is "day to day" or "questionable" masks the problem of knowing what is really going on, hence the need for football handicappers and for some of the more hardcore betting speculation. In baseball, the stain of gambling has never been erased, so the 15 day disabled list becomes a legally binding document chiseled into marble. In the greatest sport, hockey, injuries are kept secret to deny an opponent an advantage. This is because, in hockey, the players are most vulnerable to exploitation of an existing injury.

Tennis is a game of mental challenges, not just physical challenges. A highly ranked and respected player with all the skill in the world can go to pieces like a diva in a dumptruck if their head is swirling with personal or political issues. Of more concern to a tennis bettor is the mental state of the players--and I suppose this would be true of golf as well. A person like myself, with an iron mind and an unshakeable faith, could not exist in the rarefied air of tennis or golf--the prima donna is queen of everything in those sports. I'd rather watch those sports than play them, actually.