short balls: good doubles news, bad doubles news, what brad gilbert will do after a second andy dumping



Williams sisters to play doubles: The pair will participate in the Australian Open draw. Does this mean they’ll be able to play Beijing?

The Gilbert/LTA saga: Esteemed tennis coach Brad Gilbert will stay with the LTA even after his split with Andy Murray (that’s his second “Andy”… the first being Andy Roddick… and his third “And”… the other being Andre Agassi). The Scot will replace Gilbert with a team of experts. Meanwhile, LTA chief exec Roger Draper announced that Gilbert, whose contract has been renegotiated (just its duration — NOT his £750,000 in guaranteed earnings), will focus on getting British No. 2 Alex Bogdanovich to move up in the rankings (he’s currently at No. 161) and training other coaches. Of this move by Draper, critics are speaking out.

Wow: So. Many. Air Quotes.

Chasing a Canuck: Junior Jesse Levine has a suitor in Tennis Canada. (ZooTennis)

Checking in at Chennai: Rafa Nadal gives a Q&A for the Chennai Open. (Indiatimes)

Sometimes, it’s better after a break-up: A falling-out between Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in May didn’t stop the duo from success. In fact, after losing their first 13 tourneys in 2007, they went on to win three — Roland Garros, Queen’s Club, and Tennis Masters Cup — of their last seven. (Nestor, who broke off the partnership, will play with Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic; Knowles will play with Mahesh Bhupathi. (The Globe and Mail)

(OT) Live from New York: Just because TV writers have struck doesn’t mean their creative juices have stopped flowing. SNLers performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade on Saturday night (with Michael Cera hosting), while a live version of 30 Rock played on Monday night. (NYT)

(OT) Child Matadors: Good read. (NYT)

(OT) Choking on growth: For those who want to get depressed, follow NYT‘s series on China’s growing pains.

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short balls: wednesday



Does Dubai have a shortage of Nadal mimics?: Gator Jesse Levine got a call from Roger Federer, who flew the lefty out to the Middle East for some hitting sessions. (Times Leader)

Because Roger could be in trouble: A blogger points out that Nadal is nipping at the heels of R-Fed. The Swiss’ number one spot could be in danger.

Grasping at straws: The USTA wants to toughen up their juniors so they signed ‘em up for boot camp. It’s not quite like hitting sessions in a drained out swimming pool, but… (SFSS)

We all have a type, don’t we?: Some hardcore journalism from the Daily Mail, who’s discovered that Boris Becker and ex-wife Barbara Feltus were destined for a romance of some sort; “no fewer than five of (his) lovers have borne a striking similarity” to Barbara, and her current boyfriend is also a scandal-plagued redhead.

Young and out on the field: A great story in the L.A. Times about the current climate for LGB athletes in high school sports programs. For some, it’s good; for some, it’s bad. My one criticism: it would’ve been nice to see how transgender folk are being received…

Stanford through 2012: Unlike its San Diego counterpart (RIP), the Bank of the West Classic in Palo Alto will be around through 2012. (Palo Alto Daily News)

The LTA tries to quantify tennis potential: Tennis mom Judy Murray and the rest of the British gang are really serious about finding future pros. And so they’re having kids go up against a metronome. Let’s hope it works. (Zoo Tennis)

Asia on the fashion map: Much like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka embraces its contribution tennis fashion — i.e., Reebok‘s hot pants look for Venus Williams. MAS Active received the order for the whole outfit (layered top, skirt, and short shorts) four months before Wimbledon. (The Sunday Times)

FYI: Coach Nick Bollettieri charges $900 an hour for his tennis services at his academy in Western Florida. And that’s on top of the $41,100 annual boarding fee. (Times)

WTA and Beijing Olympics hammer out a deal: Countries can send up to six players to the Beijing Olympics. Like in Athens, ITF hammered out a deal to award rankings points for the women’s competition. (IHT)

short balls: why are old people so cranky?



(Check out the interview I did with BlogInterviewer.com yesterday about Tennis Served Fresh. Now onto the short balls:)

Emmo sticks to his guns: What’s that, Roy? You think showing personality on the court is tacky? You want us to just focus on the tennis? Sorry, bud. The sport wouldn’t survive in this YouTube world if we granted your wishes. (But I agree: if tennis stars keep making the news like this, I’d get ornery, too.) (The Sun)

Forget it: Frenchman Guy Forget makes a case against sleeveless shirts by taking a swipe at Rafael Nadal: “We don’t need construction worker arms in tennis”. Leave the kid alone! (Sydney Morning Herald)

Let’s celebrate the juniors: If you’d like to read up on the Wimbledon juniors’ draw, Zoo Tennis has something to say.

lleyton talks to the hand

A veteran wants another chance: Lleyton Hewitt (above) hopes to get back into the top of the ATP rankings, and wants his chance at taking down Roger Federer. Meanwhile, people are pushing for him to team up with Aussie coach Tony Roche. (SMH)

A mainstay disappears: The Argus reports that the LTA could scrap Eastbourne.

And so does the traditional service motion: Read up on how Andy Roddick and tennis’ other big servers have transformed how we start points. (New York Sun)

It’s lonely at the top: IHT writes a sweet story on Roger’s and Rafa’s rivalry. They have to stick together, because all they’ve got is each other.

OT: Today’s off-topic reading comes from the Los Angeles Times. Apparently, Lagos is the “New York of Nigeria“.

short balls thursday



Nadal’s made it: A four-page spread in this month’s GQ followed by his very own article in The Onion. To Americans, Rafa Nadal is no longer just that “tennis player with the massive biceps”.

Guillermo Coria sues over suspension: Another esteemed member of the Argentina Drug Suspension Corral is back in the news. Guillermo Coria is accusing Universal Nutrition of contaminating its multivitamin, which Coria was taking, with steroids. Coria is suing for $10 million in lost prize and endorsement money. (via Sporting News)

She’s a tall drink of Russian…water?: Smirnoff’s new Smirnoff Source comes in what looks like a water bottle, but it’s still 3.5 percent alcohol by volume — a godsend to those underage celebrities, I’m sure. Anyway, Anna Kournikova heads to NYC tonight to host a fundraiser sponsored by this new drink to benefit the Nature Conservancy. (via Business Wire)

Dubai, still: Along with acquiring the season-ending Outback Champions Series event, Dubai might also add Barneys New York to its asset portfolio. (via Tennis Served Fresh and NYT)

NYC tennis, good idea: This event will coincide with Wimbledon. (There are two i’s — get it?)

NYC tennis, bad idea: Can someone explain to me how this relates to the sport at all?

If it ain’t broke, then make it better: Line-calling technology Hawkeye makes its ATP debut in the UK. This time, each player gets three line challenges, plus the extra one if the set goes to a tiebreak. (via BBC)

If the British want champions, the LTA should stop sponsoring them: Uhh, what? (via the Guardian)

LTA nat’l tennis centre: bat- and badger-friendly



The LTA National Tennis Centre opened today in Roehampton. Greg Rusedski and Judy Murray, among others, were on hand to greet the Queen Mum, who paid visit to the Centre. She looked absolutely cute in her purple skirt suit (photos here).

This hopefully will be a boon to UK tennis. They seem to be in the process of righting some wrongs, at least with their juniors program — problems that have resulted in having only a handful of men (two, and no women) briefly occupy the top 10 in the last 30 years. And by visiting the Centre on Thursday, perhaps the Queen is reaching out. She still has a way to go, though: she has met neither the former (Tim Henman) nor current (Andy Murray) hopes of UK tennis. And both have been playing tennis for a very long time. WTF? Get your handlers on it. Now.

But back to this wonderful complex designed by Hopkins Architects. Give them thumbs up for taking steps to ensure the safety of animal habitat (bats, badgers) and to minimize the effects of rainwater drainage on nearby Beverley Brook.

And kudos, too, to the Centre’s Deuce Cafe, which prepares food using fair trade, organic, and local ingredients. They also recycle, and choose biodegradable products when possible.

(photos from the LTA website)

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