short balls: tie goes to the winner



In this case, that winner was The West Side Tennis Club stadium at Forest Hills, which survived a club members’ vote to destroy the stadium and use the site to build luxury condos. A two-thirds majority was needed for the condo deal to go through, but members instead voted in a 123-123 tie. The future of the club, which hosted the US Open until its move to Flushing Meadows in 1978, is now unknown.

Potty Problem: In case you missed it, Ana Ivanovic had a little bathroom trouble in Linz while working her way to her first career title in two years. FortyDeuce has the video (second from the top). Ivanovic was docked a game for taking too long a break in her second round match against Barbora Strycova.

You betchya: Depending on which way you see it, Roger Federer‘s name was (or is?!) swirling in a betting controversy that claimed Fed provided insider info to IMG agent Ted Forstmann during the 2007 French Open. Federer claims to have no part in the scandal, but a few days after the story broke, Forstmann admitted to betting, but said he received no insider info.

Austrian alliance: Thomas Muster continues his comeback attempt in Vienna this week, where he lucked out by not only receiving a wildcard into the main draw, but then getting a lucky loser in the opening round after Ernests Gulbis pulled out for “personal reasons”. Our fave Austrian, Jurgen Melzer, is the tourney’s top seed.

More short balls including a survey of surveys, short(er) balls and another look at The West Side Tennis Club after the cut. [Read more...]

tgif: doha already?! and two-faced funnies after the jump



Can you believe Doha starts next week?! We certainly can’t. The drama of the WTA has certainly followed the US Open; it seems this tour can’t live without it. Lasting just until the SECs are to begin, the drama lived on when another bizarre instance occurred in Luxembourg this week as Caroline Wozniacki pulled out of her first-round match leading 7-5, 5-0. Her reasoning? She was injured and wanted to let her opponent (hometown girl Anne Kremer) play in the next round, which Caro didn’t think she could do physically.

Good gesture, we say. Her reward? Accusations of throwing the match. Betfair politics. Tennis gambling. And an investigation, oh my! It also clunked her record to 3-4 since her inspiring run at Flushing Meadows. Ho hum.

Another US Open inspiree, Yanina Wickmayer, has had opposite fortunes since leaving NYC. She’s 6-1 on tour and is still in action in Luxembourg. A player to watch in 2010? We think so.

A writer we’re watching this week is Bobby Chintapalli, who penned the Doha preview for Peter Bodo’s TennisWorld. Not only did the BC come up with some solid and intriguing stats for the piece, we’re jealous of the made-up nickname used for the wave of Eastern European players of the WTA Tour: Mynameis Somethingpova.

Two snaps for Bobby, whose online writing profile says, “I love tennis. I love writing. I love cupcakes.” Well put BC, well put. Hungry now? Check out NYC’s “Best Cupcake” according to the Village Voice. 

And it wouldn’t be Friday without a little fun, this time in the form of a little Look-Alike action. Check the jump to see just who in tennis has a twin (or two) out there. [Read more...]

the italian gambling team: keeping the seat warm



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Potito Starace has barely gotten out of a six-week suspension for betting on tennis matches and there’s already another Italian in the hot seat.

According to the AP, Federico Luzzi put down 273 bets on 836 matches between May 2004 and April 2007. He even placed a bet on himself for $4.50. The investigation found no evidence that he tried to influence the result of that match.

Luzzi will be out 200 days and $50,000.

The other Italians who’ve been through the wringer:

  • Giorgio Galimberti began a 100 day suspension on February 18. He also got slapped with a $35,000. All this for betting on matches from 2003 to 2006.
  • Starace’s ban started January 1, 2008; six weeks and $35,000
  • Daniele Bracciali was banned for three months and fined $20,000
  • Alesso Di Mauro‘s nine-month suspension started in November and cost him $60,000.

Scoreline: By the way, Starace lost to top seed David Nalbandian 3-6, 3-6 in the quarterfinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico.

(photo by Getty Images)

russians, russian women, women, doping, tiger woods — everyone's getting dissed!



Is Age of Love really still on? My fault for staying home on a Monday night…

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Much ado about nothing: The Russian Roulette, aka Nikolay Davydenko, got an awful losing streak rubbed in his face after $7 million — ten times the average — was wagered in favor of World No. 87 Martin Vassallo Arguello beating him in a second round match at the Orange Prokom Open (Sopot, Poland). And not only that: the sitch has since turned into a big match-fixing scandal that has everyone from ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers to Kolya supporter Roger Federer chiming in. Fortunately, the ATP follows due process and will allow the top-fiver to play at this week’s Rogers Cup while an investigation is conducted. Bonus round: Click here to read more on the different kinds of tennis sports betting.

From Russia, without love: La Russophobe calls the Soviet success at La Costa a bunch of hogwash.

Rafter d. Roddick: In the hypothetical head-to-head, the more athletic Rafter wins out. (411mania.com)

Unstrung screens at Kalamazoo: The Disney-owned documentary screens at the boys’ tournament. The film follows Tim Neilly, Marcus Fugate, Holden Seguso, Clancy Shields, Gregory Hirshman, Donald Young, and Sam Querrey from the 2004 Orange Bowl in December through the 2005 U.S. Open. (via ZooTennis)

Ok, we’ll bite: A “He said, She said” at North County Times questions what celebrity riff raff is doing to women’s tennis. Of course “he” backs up the glam; aside from the anomaly that is Anna Kournikova (and yes, we’re talking just about singles titles here), all the other model-quality players have proven their match-tough mettle: the always-fashionable Williams sisters have 14 Grand Slam singles trophies between them. Masha has two, and Serbian Ana Ivanovic has two Tier I titles (Berlin, Montreal) under her belt.

“She” calls the endorsements and red carpet appearances distractions. But these cross-promotions are a necessary evil if we want to keep tennis financially viable. Sorry to break it to you, dear. Money is a waaaaaaay bigger factor in professional tennis than what your ideals are letting you believe.

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(OT) Doping laws aren’t dope: Sports law expert Mark Hardie writes about the inadequacies of today’s anti-doping policies in a recent op-ed published in The Times. Those falling through the cracks include tennis players Mariano Puerta and Guillermo Coria.

(OT) Amex drops Tiger: I Want to Be a Sports Agent scratches its head over this latest marketing move.