Author Archives: tennisnoise

Is Ekaterina Bychkova 30 day tennis suspension too much?

I completelythe understand the need to suspend a tennis player that is convicted and found guilty of price fixing a match, but being suspended when you told the mafia “No” seems kinda weird.  Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian world No 3, said she was surprised to hear of Ekaterina Bychkova’s 30-day suspension because she had been unaware that players were obliged to report any ‘approaches’ to the tennis authorities.

russian tennis mafia

Russian tennis mafia

Kuznetsova declined to divulge whether she had been approached. Of course, she now nows the consequences from such actions and will keep her Continue reading

Marat Safin finally retires from tennis

Marat Safin is officially playing his final tournament on the ATP tour and will retire afterward. In spite of his recent comments about Andre Agassi’s crystal meth use, Safin has a prety good reputation in the tennis world. Have you not heard what he said? Here’s the highlight referring to Andre – ‘He feels guilty? So let him just give back his titles, money, his Grand Slams,’ said Safin. ‘He should go all the way. The ATP has a bank account, he can refund if he wants to.”

Marat Safin retires red shirt

Marat Safin retires after 12 years playing pro

The Russian is retiring from his tennis career at the BNP Paribas Masters where he has a good run of  it in the past decade. Safin has won the title three times, in 2000, 2002, 2004 and finished runner-up on his debut in 1999. IN fact, his latest win improves Safin to a 24-4 record here.The streak might end shortly as Safin plays Juan Martin Del Potro, US Open champion, in the next round.

“The tennis I’m playing at the moment is not the best of my career. I always came here to win, but this time, frankly, I don’t think I can do that. I’ll just try to finish on a high note and say goodbye to everybody,” said Safin.

Safin, ranked 65th will face Del Potro for the first time. “The way he’s playing right now, I don’t think I have a chance,” confessed Safin. “But I’m going to try. Why not? If I’m going to serve well and he’s not going to be at his best, I have a chance. At the end of the day, I don’t think I’m going to be the winner. I’m going to make a decent match, that’s for sure.”

Wow Marat, you think you would have a little more confidence in your tennis game than that…. Oh wait, you have no confidence and that’s why you’re retiring. Do you think Safin should have kept playing or did he stay in the sport to long?

Here’s a gerat quote I remember from old Marat Safin – “No, she’s not. Two women is too much for me.”
Marat Safin, when asked if his mother was in Melbourne in addition to his sister.

Here’s a great Youtube video of him kissing the line lady after hitting her with a tennis ball at the HopMan cup.  He was a good sport I must say and will be missed!!

Andre Agassi used Crystal Meth, at least it wasn’t steroids….

Andre Agassi admits in a new book, “I hate Tennis” by Sports Illustrated, that he used crystal meth during his tennis career.  He also lied to tennis authorities about taking any drugs. He says it happened at the height of his success.   This and other drug abuse tales might be a result of how tennis players are trying to cope with their rigorous sport. Major sports headlines are frequently filled with drug abuse incidents either steroids, meth, cocaine, or alcohol and the ever constant problem.

andre agassi crystal meth - drug use confession crying

Andre Agassi cries after admitting to crystal meth use

The first tidbits from his autobiography have rocketed through tennis like a 135-mile-an-hour serve. He hated the sport, hated doing something that his father had shoved down his throat. He rebelled, he sought escape, maybe even self-ruin. One day in 1997, Continue reading

What is the cause of increased professional tennis injuries?

It’s obvious we have a problem in the world of professional tennis.  Imagine if 15% of the star players in soccer, basketball, baseball or football were all injured in one season?  The sponsors of the game would investigate safety issues and see if the season was to demanding.  Even Nadal complained in a recent interview about the ATP schedule citing the toll it has taken on his body. “It’s impossible to play first of January to finish fifth of December,” he said. “It’s impossible to be here playing like what I did the last five years, playing a lot of matches and being all the time 100 percent without problems.” 

Here is the quick list of tennis injuries that have happened in 2009 and what tournament it occured at:

Tennis Injuries - is the season to long?

Tennis injuries - is the season to long?

  • Roger Federer (fatigue) – after US Open taking a break
  • Rafael Nadal (knee, stomach) – US Open
  • Andy Roddick (knee injury) – Shanghai Masters – “I think it’s ridiculous to think that you have a professional sport Continue reading

Chris Evert & Greg Norman headed to divorce court?

Is divorce the only way for this celebrity couple to settle their differences?

Chris Evert & Greg Norman getting Divorced?

Chris Evert & Greg Norman getting Divorced?

Last week, Norman announced in a statement that he had separated from his wife of 15 months, tennis legend Chris Evert. And that came just a few days after Norman had surgery on his right shoulder.

This week Greg Norman has flown to San Francisco to captain the International team in the Presidents Cup.  Cris Evert is home in Florida, where a photo was  snapped a shot of the tennis legend’s unadorned ring finger, just 15 months after the couple laid out $2 million for a wedding ceremony. Continue reading

Kim Clijsters inspires Justine Henin to return to tennis

OK, Justine did not say this about Kim Clijsters but we all know it must have inspired her to “unretire” from the sport. Justine Henin’s proclamation this past Tuesday that she’s coming back after almost 1.5 years adds to the surging number of high-profile but temporary retirements in the game of tennis. Of course, she really does think she can win the next Wimbledon, I’m sure.  I doubt the picture below will happen again..do you agree?

Justine Henin & Kim Clijsters in 2003

Justine Henin being cocky & Kim Clijsters sad in 2003

In the last six years, three other former female No. 1s besides Henin—Martina Hingis (foot injury), Kim Clijsters (pregnancy/burnout) and Lindsay Davenport (pregnancy) — announced they were done and then subsequently unretired. Each enjoyed success in their comebacks, including Clijsters’ phenomenal run to the U.S. Open title this month as an unranked wild card in just her third tournament back. Continue reading

Serena Williams & Kanye West have something in common

Tennis star Serena Williams and hip-hop artist Kanye West have something in common.  In the words of Bon Qui Qui, they were both “rude”.

That’s the kind of out-sized sense of self-importance that landed this unlikely pair, tennis player Serena Williams and musician Kanye West in a shared spotlight this week. Their outbursts sparked a pitched debate over the nation’s sinking morals, the presumed decline of civility, the lingering racism in our supposedly post-racial society.

Kanye West grabs mic frmo Taylor Swift - MTV awards 2009

Kanye West grabs mic frmo Taylor Swift - MTV awards 2009

But a week riding the roller coaster of excuses, judgments and apologies has led me to a more optimistic place. There was musical genius Kanye West — with his dark glasses and edgy haircut — muscling in on waif-like Taylor Swift in the middle of her thank-you speech at the MTV Video Music Awards. Her country music innocence upended by his Bon qui-qui rudeness. Continue reading

Roger Federer’s insane between the legs shot against Novak Djokovic – 2009 US Open

Can anyone prevent Roger Federer from taking his 6th US Open? He’s just tore up Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the 2009 US Open & is on course for another US Open title. How many total titles is that, I’ve lost count….

And what a way to do it. Watch this shot, between his legs, already been described as the best shot of his career & arguably the most audacious & best in tennis history:

Roger Federer between legs tennis shot - 2009 US Open

Roger Federer between legs tennis shot - 2009 US Open

On the next-to-last point of the match, Federer hit what he called the best shot of his life. Djokovic was serving and seemingly in control of the point, standing at the net and watching for his just-hit lob to land out of Federer’s reach.

Except Federer materialized at the baseline just when the lob landed. With his back to the net, Federer swung the racket between his legs – and hit a clean winner past Djokovic. The crowd roared, and Federer’s forehand return winner that followed on match point was anticlimactic.

“On those shots, you just say, ‘Well done, too good.’ What can you do?” Djokovic said. While Federer was still on the court, the point was replayed on the scoreboard video screens at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Federer exclaimed, “That’s unbelievable.” After this exciting win he is now facing Juan Martin del Potro in Monday’s final.

It’s this kind of split second, athletic genius & audacity that sets the champions out from the mere greats. Who would dare attempt a crazy shot like this when the entire match has been so close?  I am linking over the to the entire youtube clip if you want to see this in action.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVQhIEPbM0g

Many are now arguing this could be the best tennis point in history….I disagree.  What do you think was the best tennis point in history?

Roger Federer’s greatness is now becoming standarad fare – 2009 US Open

When someone achieves greatness for such a long time it doesn’t even make headlines anymore.  Fans of the tennis world expect the final of the 2009 US Open to be Federer VS ??????.   They just have to wait for the question marks to be figured out.  In fact this press conference from yesterday proves the point.

“It’s just not easy to win Slams. It’s just that simple,” Federer said before the room roared ith wlaughter. “OK, you might think I have a lot, but I played many matches before where I didn’t win, as well. And semis or finals just doesn’t give you the win yet. It’s a tough road, and you have to finish the deal and it’s a hard thing to do.”

Federer’s eventual undoing of Sweden’s Robin Soderling – heavy winds aside – from last night’s quarterfinal, 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6), turned dramatically competitive late but was a good enough exhibit for a small place in the Federer hall of masterpieces. It was Federer’s 12th-straight victory over the 12th-seeded Soderling.

Roger Soderling shakes hands with Roger Federer

Roger Soderling shakes hands with Roger Federer

Another title in Flushing Meadows would make Federer the first man since Bill Tilden in 1925 to win 6 straight U.S. titles, a comparison Federer called “fantastic” even as he reminded that he never saw Tilden – Tilden died 3 decades before Federer was born.
 

Federer’s march has gone largely unnoticed, as well, but his brilliant tennis will keep all eyes on his game this weekend. One aspect of his genius is his return of serve, notes Doug Robson in a USA Today analysis of men’s tennis trends. The return of serve has become the most important shot in modern men’s tennis, according to the study.

I was also reading yet another comparison between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods that said Tiger Woods was the greater athlete of his sport?  Why? Let’s compare the gap between Woods and Federer and the second-best player in their respective sports.  Woods has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments, and is within reach of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18. Federer has 15 Grand Slam singles titles, the best in tennis history. Continue reading

Melanie Oudin defeats Caroline Wozniacki at the 2009 US Open

Melanie Oudin defeats Caroline Wozniacki. Well, at least that’s what the USA fans are cheering for tonight at Arthur Ashe staduim. This little 5’6″ 17 year-old from Marietta, Georgia is getting the attention she deserves for US women’s tennis.

Melanie Oudin pink yellow shoes - 2009 US Open

Melanie Oudin pink yellow shoes - 2009 US Open

 Caroline Wozniacki, the first Danish woman to be ranked in the top 10, defeated the last remaining Russian in the field, sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, last night in similar fashion to Oudin victories, coming back to win, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). She will meet Oudin in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Continue reading

Rafael Nadal gets a surprise kiss at the US Open

A little bit after Nadal defeated Gael Monfils on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open, a spectator came out of the stands and hugged and kissed him his naked chest before being escorted quickly by security guards.

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Although caught off guard, Nadal did not seem to be shaken, in fact he smiled and chuckled after it happened.

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

“For me it wasn’t a problem,” said Nadal, noting that the man spoke in English. “The guy was really nice.”

“He was a great fan,” he said. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kissed me.”

Nadal had just removed his shirt (showing his stomach patch) and was preparing for an on-court interview when the man suddenly emerged with a camera to approach him. I’ve included a quick YouTube video showing the highlights of the quick hug, kiss, & run guy.  He actually attacks him about the 57 second mark.

Thirty minutes after the match, the police had a man in custody, and they handcuffed him to the bleachers alongside Court 5 (were they better setas for the match then he had before, who knows?). A USTA spokesman said the incident was being reviewed, as were on-court security procedures.

Tournament spokesman Tim Curry said police arrested the man for interference with a sporting event.

“We’re reviewing what happened and then will determine if we have to make any changes to our on-court security procedures,” Curry said.

The scene reminded me of the French Open final in May, when a fan came out of the stands and tried to greet Roger Federer during play, although that incident was scary. Federer was in the middle of a match and it broke his concentration, requiring a few minutes during play to compose himself.

John Isner defeats Andy Roddick…major upset at the US Open 2009

What an insane match.  This helped show that American still has some great tennis talent and can gring out an enexpected historical matchup between these 2 Americans that can serve easily over 125 mpy consistently.  You see John Isner defeated Andy Roddick, 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6. So far, It’s the biggest upset so far in the men’s draw with the #5 mens seed now out.  Isner beat Roddick at his own game, tallying 38 aces and winning two tiebreaks to advance, marking the farthest he has ever lasted in a Grand Slam.

“This is hands down the biggest win of my career,” Isner said after the match. “The hair was kinda standing up on the back of my neck at some points. But I never panicked. I knew I had a shot.”

Indeed.

Here’s the final tiebraker in the 5th set of this insane match.

In the biggest match of Isner’s young career, the lanky 24-year-old didn’t shrink on the biggest of stages.

“We were waiting around in the locker room forever. But I actually kind of enjoyed that. I figured if I had a decently long match with Andy, it would kind of end at nighttime. I wanted that atmosphere,” said Isner. Continue reading

The difference between old and newly resurfaced tennis courts

I believe the main reason tennis is slowly dying in America is the cost for a school system or city municipality to build & MAINTAIN a tennis court.  How much does a tennis court cost to build? Roughy $15,000 for a clay court and $28,000 for a hard court (in the southeast).  This is not the main problem.  The main problem is maintenance on these courts. A hard court cost about $3,500 a year to maintain BUT that’s only if you are putting away $3,500 a year when you need to resurface. Resurfacing a single court can cost up to $15,000 every 5 years.   Most budgets don’t account for this type of maintenance. Most schools that build courts will build about 5-7 of them without thinking about the cost to keep them up.  They end up looking like this:

Old Worn Tennis Courts

Old Worn Tennis Courts

When kids play on these courts they have no clue to what real tennis is like.  Your tennis balls end up turning black after about 10 minutes and you slide all over the place getting the ball.  The ball also does not act as it should on a newly resurfaced court. 

Newly resurfaced tennis court

Newly resurfaced tennis court

 

What do you think is causing the downfall of tennis in America?

Wilson or Penn Tennis Balls – Pros & Cons

For some time the professional tennis players have whined and complained about different tournaments using different balls.  They have a legitimate complaint.  In football you have a regulation ball that everyone uses.  In basketball, you have a regulation ball that everyone uses. It’s always the same.

In golf, the player chooses his ball and uses the same one throughout the tournament. In tennis, the tennis ball starts very similar per regulations but changes rapidly when hit at professional speed of 130 mph.  Heck, I have used the Wilson and Penn balls the players complain about and understand what they mean.  Penn, by far works much better through a few sets than sorry Wilson balls.

My personal preference:  ”I usually play with Penn, the felt is a little bit thicker, and I play on hot courts in Florida, where the ball wears out fast.” Also Penn is the official choice of the USPTA and the only ball manufactured in the U.S.

Penn Tennis Balls

Penn Tennis Balls

Here’s the case in point:

After Andy Roddick won his 2nd round match at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, he broached a popular complaint among the players at this time of year.

Like many of his ATP World Tour counterparts, Roddick dislikes using different tennis balls at different tournaments during the hard court series leading up to the United States Open, which begins Aug. 31. He made that clear — loud and crystal — only minutes into his Wednesday news conference.

“I still think that we shouldn’t be changing tennis balls midsummer,” Roddick said. “That’s just, you know, at the height of not using common sense.”

Before Roddick traveled here, he played at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. There, the players used Wilson brand tennis balls. Here, they use Penn.

While non-professionals may find that complaint trivial, Roddick and some of his fellow pros have long felt it makes a significant difference in their play.

“Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be priority on continuity throughout the U.S. Open Series as far as the tennis balls go,” Roddick said.

A reporter asked what the players could do to change that.

“Well, what are our options?” Roddick snapped. “Not playing?”

The reporter suggested that Roddick and the players could complain to officials, to which Roddick said, “We can talk all we want,” before expanding.

“We can use you guys as an avenue to get our thoughts across,” Roddick said to the room full of reporters. “Because otherwise, they’re just hollow words.”

What’s your favorite tennis ball and why?