sampras and federer duke it out at the garden



Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King

Mano a mono: It’s already in the running for Most Overanalyzed Meaningless Tennis Match in History, but Bonnie D. Ford makes no apologies for chiming in. Roger Federer beat Pete Sampras 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6).

Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, both in Nike

Fashion: We enjoyed the revival of Roger’s tuxedo look (from last year’s U.S. Open), and we were ecstatic that Pete finally came out with a new look. As of Saturday, while playing an exo against Todd Martin in Columbus, he was still wearing a style from 10 months ago.

Tick tock: How appropriate that Roger came out wearing a Rolex (which he has endorsed since 2006). Is he counting down his time at the top?

In case you missed it: Roger’s lackluster play in 2008 (no titles for him so far) was attributed to some food poisoning before Kooyong, and also to mono. He keeps himself relatively injury-free, but you can’t really escape the microscopic things, I guess. (Read a letter from Roger to his fans addressing his illness.)

And perhaps we’re all just suffering from a little too much Roger. (Even fan club prez Anna Wintour was seen with another athlete — gasp! — LeBron James.)

The rest push back: He wasn’t even doing so well with the media, who’ve tried to bait his peers to comment on his observation of Andy Murray‘s game after losing to the Scot in Dubai.

Murray wouldn’t get into it. Nole: “Murray has a great style and talent and knows how to play at any one moment… Roger doesn’t like it when you get a lot of balls back against him.” Nadal:: Murray “is getting very good results with his style and if you are doing well why do you have to change?”

Junior Ore, Dennis Kudla

Warm-up: Jordan and I had a talk the other day about who would be picked to play the warm-up match before the NetJets Showdown. Jordan was hoping Donald Young or someone like that. Instead, the audience got treated to Denis Kudla and Junior Ore. Ore says Marcelo Rios is his idol. That’s pretty awesome; you don’t hear Rios mentioned that much anymore. (Tennis Week via Zoo Tennis)

Pete Sampras - Roger Federer - Press Conference

Another: Here’s a photo from the press conference for the exhibition.

short balls: ana ivanovic quickies, fernando gonzalez q & a, etc.



Tennis bits and pieces from the interwebs:

On Ana Ivanovic: (I only used six different letters of the alphabet to write that heading!) For those who are new to this new round of Ana-mania: bone up. Here are two profiles of Ms. Ivanovic, one from ESPN.com’s Bonnie DeSimone (here) and the other from CNBC.com’s Darren Rovell (here). And P.S. in case you weren’t around for the last round of Ana-mania, this is who we’re talking about.

There are no grass courts in Chile: Here’s a quick e-mail interview with Gisela Dulko‘s boyfriend, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez. (via the Independent)

But they carry live tennis matches in China: or so says James Fallows of The Atlantic.

The ice queen melts after her meltdown: We certainly appreciate having a more personal relationship with Justine Henin, who seems to have opened up after years of being very secretive about her non-tennis life. The turning point: her divorce from husband Pierre-Yves Hardenne, which forced her to miss the 2007 Aussie Open. Since then, she’s been more chatty with the press, and has talked about a reunion with her father and siblings. (via the Guardian)

short balls: a prodigy, a renaissance, and tennis on film



The guys in charge of the scoreboard LOVE her: ESPN’s Bonnie DeSimone profiles one of the players who made noise at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open. The 14-yr-old (and Portuguese) Michelle Larcher de Brito won a third set tiebreak against journeywoman Meghan Shaughnessy in the first round and lost to Daniela Hantuchova in the second.

He has Federer’s number: In case you’re new to the scene and/or know little about giant slayer Guillermo Canas — he’s beaten Federer twice in two weeks — you should read this short column by Justin Gimelstob.

Tennis in Tribeca: American filmmaker Rob Klug premieres his documentary Unstrung at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival. From the TFF website: “Much as Spellbound did for spelling bees, Unstrung exposes the surprising dramas of the amateur tennis world, hitting the road with a handful of high school competitors as they head for the national championship.” (via All These Wonderful Things)

What happens in Vegas…: From Robin Leach’s guest blog post on Luxe Life: Murphy Jensen‘s Tennis Channel show Open Access did a segment out of Las Vegas, coinciding with last month’s Tennis Channel Open. Jensen, along with player Jaroslav Levinsky, visited magician Lance Burton backstage “for an impromptu interview and some more magic tricks. Lance Burton made Murphy disappear upon a request from Levinsky.”

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