sunday survey: week 1’s wackiest?

Week one of the Australian Open is over and done with: seven days of play down, seven to go. But there were seven instances out of the tennis norm that caught our eye, and we’re wondering for today’s Sunday Survey: which moment was the wackiest? Choose in the survey below. And if you’re not sure what we’re referencing, check out videos on each occurrence after the jump.

Click here for a video vault on all seven moments. [Read more...]

asian tennis: nino gets hometown love, indians in australia, and noppawan the number one.

francis-alcantara-aussie09a

We do want to send some love to Filipino Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara for winning the Australian Open junior doubles title with Taiwanese partner Cheng-Peng Hsieh. This is the first time in a very long while that the Philippines has actively participated in tennis not as fans (anyone else aside from Maricris Fernandez)?

The Philippine Senate even adopted a resolution to express their pride for the teenager’s accomplishment.

In that pic above, Nino is the one on the right (reminds me a little bit of Fernando Verdasco).

Speaking of the Asian Slam, the Indians did their fair share of title-takin’, with Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi winning mixed doubles and Yuki Bhambri nabbing the junior boy’s title. Congrats.

I wasn’t being Rick-rolled after all… So it turns out that Nick wasn’t punking me, and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn is a real person. With results, even.

The junior world no. 1’s hometown paper, The Nation gives her a little love. Read it here or (in case the link goes dead) after the cut…

eight men, five rubbers, one weekend…

Bulging biceps, tag teams, marathon sessions, tattoos, bears, Eastern Europeans, Brazilians…

Yes, my friends, it must be Davis Cup!

World Group 2008 – Semifinal
Argentina v Russia, 3 – 2
Tarpischev’s doubles trick couldn’t shake off del Potro.

Spain v USA, 4 – 1
America’s rich Davis Cup history gets blown to bits when a tie is contested on clay. Against Spain.

World Group, Play-offs 2008
Chile v Australia, 3 – 2
Gonzo distracted the Aussies with his chest.

Great Britain v Austria, 2-3
For British newbie Bogdanovic, playing in front of the home crowd at AELTC caused some performance anxiety against Peya.

Switzerland v Belgium, 4 – 1
The dream team of R-Fed and S-Waw cleaned up.

Croatia v Brazil, 4 – 1
Save for a clutch doubles match by Melo and Sa, Croatia takes all the matches.

Israel v Peru, 4 – 1
Harel Levy, Andy Ram, Noam Okun, and the Smurf-esque Dudi Sela all did the home crowd proud.

Netherlands v South Korea, 3 – 2
Hyung-Taik Lee swept his singles matches, but it wasn’t enough.

Romania v India, 4 – 1
As expected, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi win their doubles match.

Slovak Republic v Serbia, 1 – 4
Novak Djokovic kept his clothes on.

trophy watch: doubles and wheelchair action at the australian open

As with any Grand Slam, plenty of silver (both as cups and platters) were doled out to runner-ups and winners of the various events at the Australian Open.

mens-doubles-aus08.jpg

The team of Jonathan Ehrlich and Andy Ram capped a historic weekend for Israeli sports by becoming the first Israeli team to win a Grand Slam title. Their opponents in the 7-5, 7-6 (4) win were the defending Wimbledon champs, Michael Llodra and Nono Clement. Suffice to say Ram and Ehrlich’s celebration is exactly how the Frenchmen would’ve done it.

More: The women’s doubles. mixed doubles, and quad wheelchair winners after the cut…

short balls: reality bites sania, rafa swallows bitter pill, vaidisova returns, etc.

Reality bites: In response to Mahesh Bhupathi advising Sania Mirza to “concentrate on her physical abilities and training methods to prevent injury rather than to cure them,” she says:

Injuries happen to everyone. I mean Sharapova has struggled with so many injuries this year. Also Indians are not genetically as tough as the Europeans are. We are not cut out to be in a totally physical sport. That’s a fact. A lot of people may disagree with me but I still believe that. And because of that we have to push our bodies a lot more. And hence if you are going to punish your bodies everyday I don’t think then it’s humanly possible to remain injury free. I lost three months this year because of my knee but that is something which happened when I was the fittest. (CNN-IBN)

Fan fave: The fans of Maria Sharapova weigh in on their favorite outfit of 2007. I agree with their pick. (WTB)

More Maria: While in town for promo work with Tag Heuer, Masha takes in some Hong Kong sites with gal pal Camilla Belle. (Celebrities Stars)

Nadal owns up to bum foot: After months of brushing off questions about the source of his (relatively) poor performance in 2007, Rafa finally speaks out about his chronic injury. Now that the Aussie Open has traded Rebound Ace for DecoTurf, will he have the same problems he faced during this past U.S. Open? DTL: Nadal reflects on a tough 2007.

A fellow grinder rests up: Lleyton Hewitt is hoping his ankle soreness will disappear in time to play in his home country’s Grand Slam. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia hopes that the two-time Grand Slam champ will benefit from the surface change; Lleyton’s first win was on ‘Turf at the 2001 U.S. Open. (Herald Sun)

Becker splits with GF: Boris announced the end of his relationship with Sharlely Kerssenberg. (DTL)

King’s gold: Billie Jean King thinks that the WTA is free of match-fixing and sides with Martina Hingis on that cocaine scandal. (WP, WTB)

First Borg, now Sampras: C’mon, wrist — heal yourself! Clearly your owner, Andy Murray, has been pegged with lots of potential by tennis greats Borg (here) and now Sampras. (The Scotman)

Vaidisova’s back?: Mono washed away most of her 2007, but Nicole Vaidisova should be back on track in 2008. (ESPN)

What can’t he do?: First it was Novak the actor, then Novak the disco diva, now Novak the baritone?

Geek love: If you haven’t yet fallen for the number-crunching ways of Robert Waltz, then take in this latest article analyzing the performance of top WTA players. (tennis.com)

nature edition: sania up the river + safin up (and down) a mountain

A promotional event for the Sunfeast Open had Sania Mirza playing a quick three-game match against Mahesh Bhupathi in a barge set up in the Hooghly River (she won 2-1).

The floating structure was framed between the Howrah Bridge and the Vidyasagar Setu, near Calcutta.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen tennis played on boats. Monica Seles and John McEnroe hit a few on the Thames in June, 2004. And Volandri had an even crazier arrangement in Valencia.

(via rediff)


Caution: the thin air in high altitudes might induce you to wear red plaid shorts.

Safin’s Spirit Quest: a messed-up Marat Safin decided to sit out the rest of the year — withdrawing from Mumbai, Tokyo and Moscow — to nurse his left wrist and shake off a lackluster 2007. He planned to be back in time for TMS Madrid.

But of course, in true Safin fashion, the regrouping involved a month-long trek up Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest peak in the world.

An expert commented on the relative ease of hiking up this mountain: “We recommend ascent to Cho-Oyu for alpinists who have not any experience on eight-thousanders. Cho-Oyu is an ideal choice for mountaineers ready to test themselves on Tibetan giants, because climbing Cho-Oyu is not technical.” (atptennis.com via MTF)

But another post on his website today (via MTF) had him reassessing the rigors of the hike. Safin has decided to turn around and make the five-day descent. “In Moscow he will meet next week with Hernan Gumy and after a week recovering from the altitude, he is meant to start practising again in about 2 weeks time. The wrist is well rested and all being well he will hopefully play again in Madrid.”

(photo via maratsafin.com)