clijsters: pot calls the kettle “bland”

An excerpt from Kim Clijsters‘ interview with BBC Radio 5 Live last night:

“Over the last few months I have been watching a little more tennis and there’s a lot of girls that I really have no clue who they are. And they play really good tennis, but what I’ve noticed on TV is that a lot of them play the same type of tennis. The speed is very similar, the movement is very similar. There’s not many new players that stand out with a different type of game.”

I guess there’s room for rueing the loss of Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo (in her heyday), but let us remind you that this comment is coming from a woman whose wham-bam style of play was nearly indistinguishable from that of her peers and not nearly as successful — it only got her one major.

(via OTB)

short balls: maybe tennis should test for valium, sampras feels roger’s woes, help fight a forest fire, etc.

Venus on steroids: As part of yesterday’s presser, Venus Williams was asked to comment on the recent controversy surrounding A-Rod‘s use of performance-enhancing drugs:

“Umm, you know, I think tennis is a completely different sport,” she said.

“You have to hold your nerve, and I don’t know if there’s a drug for that.” Brilliant.

Meanwhile, the guys of the ATP are having a hard time adjusting to tour’s new drug testing protocol, being managed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The stringent rules requires anyone in the top 50 to report where they’ll be for one hour a day, making them accessible to drug testers. Miss three pop quizzes in 18 months and you’re slapped with a two-year ban.

Rafael Nadal, among others, has voiced his dislike for the new system, which was adopted in order to keep tennis’ status as an Olympic sport. “They make you feel like a criminal,” he said at the ABN AMRO this week. “Not even my mother knows where I am every day. It is very difficult to know where you are going to be tomorrow especially in a sport like tennis.”

Besides, winning an Olympic medal can’t get you an Aston Martin, right?

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Kick him while he’s down: Don’t put away the Kleenex box just yet, Roger — your former coach, Pete Lungren, is already molding Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to be better than you. Would you like to talk smack about him, too? But it’s okay, Pete Sampras can feel your pain.

Fanatics can fight fires: Bid on a lot of tennis caps signed by Roger and Rafa — plus a poster signed by all four singles finalists from the 2009 Australian Open — in an auction by Fox Sports Australian that benefits Victorian brushfire victims. Bidding starts Friday; more info here.

BBC’s Wimbledon well dries up: The BBC will tone down its slam-related entertainment in light of the recent economic downturn. Great — the queues at the food stands will be that much longer. (OTB)

paulandjoe-spring09

(OT) Paul & Joe: These three tees from Paul & Joe‘s most recent collection are tickling Mr. Squid’s fancy. Pick ‘em up at asos.com.

Cashing in his ass(ets)

BBC Radio personality Simon Mayo teamed up with Pat Cash to show off the network’s Wimbledon coverage for the upcoming fortnight. (Check out the website here.)

Cash takes it a step further by recreating a famous tennis girl pose. I’m not usually an ass man, but this made me do a double-take. If you need evidence for the physical benefits of playing tennis, here it is. NSFW after the cut…

on your day off from the tennis court…

If you’re like me, and your tennis game isn’t quite up to snuff, you try to find ways to intimidate your opponent into losing. But what if the stare-downs aren’t giving you free points, and the elaborate pre-match stretches aren’t making the other guy cower? Don’t bother with all that. Next time, just get straight to the point by showing up looking exactly like a pro.

– Take a look at these masks from the BBC website. (I suggest having them printed onto fabric so you can actually wear them on the court.)

nadal-mask-bbc myskina-mask-bbc murray - mask - bbc

– And if you want to dress like a pro, the folks at Teamsugar have bookmarked a slew of tennis goodies that should make it easier for you to put together a fashionable outfit.

– And when you’ve gotten your look together, but you feel like your game isn’t quite up to pro par, just remember: you can dink that ball into the service box and still find a way to win.