Me, Watching Tennis

Me, Watching Tennis
Me, Watching Tennis

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day Seven of the US Open 2008

Guest blogger Rick Rock:

Where is Luxombourg? I know that's kind of embarrassing to ask, like of course stupid Americans don't know, but honestly I am not sure? My best guess is, between France and Germany to the North, maybe below the Netherlands? I could ask the Internet, but I am not going to. Anyway, I know where Gilles Muller is, he is in New York. 5th sets are fun to watch, to state the obvious, because each player is basically just freaking out! It's all risk taking, just going for it. It's fun! Muller/Amagro, ok whatever but a great endgame. Sometimes one player melts but not this time, they both battled to the end...

This part of the post is called, "Me and My Wrongness":

I had Stepanek beating Roger. Boy was I wrong. The worst part is, I actually want Roger to win, but I had my "clever" picks. Meanwhile, Robredo was supposed to have lost to Safin, yet somehow he crushed Tsonga. That I did not see coming. I had Tommy written off as too busy chasing models around. More than all the other dudes? I don't know what I was thinking. And again, I'm a big fan of his, but you know, "clever" with the picks...

Ha ha, I also had Karlovic beating Nadal, later. Perhaps in an alternative dimension. In this one, he lost to Querrey and will get no closer to Nadal than I will, with the security players have these days.

Leni at least is doing her part - I have her in the final, and she is looking pretty good against Na Li right now. Maxim Afenigenov in the audience, looking like a young, Russian, hockey playing Steven Tyler. By the way, I took this opportunity to explain to my 12 year old that Leni is really hot. He wasn't sure at first, but I think he gets it now.

However, it will probably be an all-Williams final, the way they are marching along. Very impressive. Of course, I had them both going out right about now, I forget the details, which is just as well. By the way, the Oreo Doublestuff ad - kind of weird!?!?? Because of the Oreo subtext? Which doesn't make any actual sense but has to come to mind? Or some kind of Williams, Manning, Manning (two white parts because it's "Doublestuff"), Wiliams stacking situation?? I'm not sure what to think.

Nishikori too is upsetting my plans. I had him written off just as someone who can beat Blake wen Blake is deciding to stink - like Granollers. Wrong wrong wrong - he's kicking butt!

Bammer also ruined my plans, but Bartoli was already supposed to have gone out, so whatever. And it's cool she has a kid! We saw Lindsay's baby at the Open the other night, he was sitting right behind us! He's a little baby! But Bammer's kid like ran up to her and said yay because she is 7, not a little baby! WTF?!?!? I think it's cool.

Ah well - maybe tomorrow I'll do better.

Signing off - Rick Rock

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 6 of the US Open 2008

I am behind in my watching. I just finished watching Gulbis lose to Roddick not so long ago. Man, that bummed me out. I am not a Roddick fan. I really think the drunkenstein NYC audience got to Gulbis. He couldn't handle it. Yes, you can call that a lack of experience.

Now I an watching Serena doing good work on Sugiyama.

I am freaked out about a few wins today-
Karlovic going down to Querrey? That surprised me.

And I really like Meltzer doing well. But I think my fellow Austrian is good at losing when he is ahead. Yes! Win two sets, lose the next three!

More soon.

Yours Truly,

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ashley Harkleroad is Pregnant

I am drinking a margarita that my very kind husband made for me- with only fresh lime juice which sort of burns my throat cause I have a sore throat/cold/flu thing going on - and so I have finally stopped napping (I napped A LOT whilst tennis played earlier) and watched poor Kuzy ( we love her) hold back tears as she lost to Srebotnik. Now, I like Srebotnik a lot. She apologized for beating Venus at- the French? Australian? How cute is that?! And plus I think she's cute and I dig her serve and volley thing.

Now it's raining! Dude! The minute I wake up it rains? Now they are talking about Verdasco naked pics, which I have seen. Oh my! Ashley Harkelroad is having a baby?! Anyone see the nude pics of her in Playboy? I tried to google for it and got freaked out by all the porn stuff that came up on my computer and worried about viruses not to mention- uh, my kids are sometimes on the computer! So I stopped trying to find them. But I would love to hear some feedback on her- parts? Can that be said?

Update: I found them here!!
So here is my reaction: uh, the part of NSFW my husband (now I hate him) explained to me means not safe for work. And then-- "prepare the lube"? That sort of bummed me out. Now, I love making love, thinking of making love, but lube and masturbating to the internet? WAAHH! I guess I'm old fashioned. And then- you know, Playboy, no joke. She had to be all slutty for it! Booty in the air. That whole leaning off the chair thing? Good lord. And showing her downstairs part. Oh goodness. But, I must say, she is a very beautiful woman and I like that her boobs are smallish and she still is sexy. I'm not a big fan of the boob-job look. So. Anyway, happy pregnancy Ashley! Your boobs are gonna change for good now, so it's great you had them documented before pregnancy changes them!!!!

Man, I hope it stops raining. My whole evening will stink if it doesn't.

It stopped raining! Yeah! Oh goodness, I'm watching Verdasco (who did not show his downstairs for the magazine he posed for, btw) and Machado! More soon.

Everything Tracy Austin just said about the now playing Bartoli v. Davenport match just made me think she might be slightly retarded. Uh, Bartoli isn't some strange accident. In fact, I love Lindsay, but I am picking Bartoli for this match. Mostly cause I am so pissed at Tracy. Man, I can't watch this with the sound off, but damn I wish Tracy had a gag in her mouth. Which makes me think of another post I wrote, hating on Tracy (and I really try not to be a hater, I do I do!!!!): where I imagine her dressed up as a dominatrix:

Yours Truly,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last Night at the Open

It was a beautiful night, quite cool for NYC, and the 7 train out to Flushing Meadows was not so bad: we got seats and the car was air conditioned! Also, we caught the express which is much much better than the local, my friends. All of this is important, because a good start is always important to any evening. We then joined the throng of humanity as it attempted to enter the Bille Jean King Tennis Center. My husband had a bag and as we joined the "have a bag line" we started to worry his bag would be one of the bags that get people sent way far to a different throng of persons called the "bag check". Again, we got lucky, and they let him and his bag through. Because of our fortunate train experience, we were there nice and early. We headed straight to the back courts and watched the amazingly unique Bartoli play against super-buff, mainly doubles-specialist, Ruano Pascual. Watching Bartoli up close like that- man, it is so different than TV! Her raquet has an extra long neck/handle which is useful since she is tow-handed on both sides. But her control! It is so discernable up close like last night, to see her distinct control, which gives her not only the ability to hit amazing angles, but also these flat hard down the line shots.

Then we went to Arthur Ashe Stadium. Our seats were 7 or 8 rows up in the corner! Awesome. I had never seen Lindsay play (I mostly go to mens' events) and I love Lindsay and so enjoyed seeing her up close like that. But, her moodiness! She would play a great game, hitting deep and hard, serves and groudnstrokes, breaking her opponent, the also hard hitting youngster, Klebasnova (sp?), and then she'd play a really lose game, spraying balls, double-faulting, getting grumpy. What gives? Get it together woman! I mean, as if I could ever play tennis nearly as well as she, but still. It's as if her mental focus comes and goes. It was interesting to see. She commented that she needs to "play better", but I think it's all between the ears for Lindsay. Also, in real life, as opposed to TV, she actually covers the court well! I know she's not known for being the best "mover", but I was super impressed. That match was fun.

Then came the ass whomp of Roddick v. Santoro. Roddick's serving was fun to see. I have seen it before, this summer in Canada for instance, but it is always a revelation. But the match was lop-sided. And at the end, when Santoro stopped even trying to return? That was painful end. Just not fun to see. I would venture to say that it was "unprofessional", but maybe I'm being to hard on him. It cannot be fun to lose so badly and nearly get brained by Roddick's serve, and have the whole audience against you. Still, he' s a veteran, to put it mildly. I wish he hadn't behaved that way on the last point.

Now back to the TV today.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 3 of the US Open 2008

People, I have been napping. I am trying to wake up now. JJ, or Jelena Jankovic, is trying to close out the third set against Arvidsson. Weall know how mych guest bloggerr Rowan loves her, so we are wishing her well right now. I dig her yellow dress, too.

Tonight, I am going to the Open! I'll let you know all about it tomorrow.

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anna-Lena Groenefeld defeats Hantuchova now that she's not Underweight

Now, Anna-Lena is a former top 20 player and knows how to kick butt on the court so it is no surprise that she beat Danny Hanny. We are huge fans of Danny Hanny here, so I am sad to see her lose. Sometimes we call her Danny Hanny, and sometimes we call her HanTU, or rather hon TU, after the noise that the Sivinanda yoga people make during the certain breathing exersize at the beginning of each class there. I believe it is the breathe of fire. I forget what they call it, or wait, kalibati? Does that sound right? Anyhoo, Danny Hanny went down and we are sad, but. BUT! Anna-Lena was not really on the tour for a while and last time I saw her, she was quite thin. Now she's back to being the big girl she once was and so now she can win again! Interestingly, Danny Hanny has had her issues with weight, too, having gotten way too thin once. Now, Danny Hanny is by no means a big girl, but she's not nearly as slight as she once was. Which is great, because she was not doing well. And now Anna-Lena is back to her normal weight, which is a bit meaty, and now she can win!!! Yeah Girls! Eating is good! It makes you able to win and be less "crazy" too, is my guess.

Now I am watching Safin and Spadea. If I had to make a choice between Safin and Spadea in the boudiour (sp?), I would choose Safin. But I want Spadea to win, because I read his crazy book, Break Point, and I like him and feel sorry for him. But Safin? Piece of fine manliness. Heart throb. Other parts throbbing. Oh man is he hot.

Less "Hot" but actually very attractive, is Gasquet who they just switched to showing. He has that youthful Frenchiness. And the fragility he is known for makes me all warm in the face.He is playing Haas, who I do not like, even though he is attractive too, and I once had an erotic dream about, which I blogged about here:

I'm still jet-lagged. I slept through a bunch of tennis today, which as you all know, is one of my favorite things to do, and something I have blogged about more than once:

Lots of tennis people! Woohoo!

Well Spadea and Gasquet lost. So that is sort of a bummer, but I'm not mad that Safin won, really. I am irritated that Haas won. Oh well. I entertained myself by finding this in the wonerdful land of tennis internetlandia:
My vote there, btw, is Vinci.

Yours Truly,

Monday, August 25, 2008

The US Open Begins!!!!

We are watching Rick Rock's favorite female player- and by we, I mean, me, Jake, Penny and Rafa (Penny and Rafa are my new kittens, Jake is one of my old cats, one of two to be exact, which means I have FOUR CATS), Dementieva close out the second set against the very right-on butch Anandomadovoa (sp? I''ll try and correct it later) from Ubekistan.

I just got back from Alaska. I have jet lag. I have two new kittens, one who is named Rafa, after- you know who!!!! Alaska ROCKED. I wish I could be there now, but with my family, watching tennis.

Elena's dress is pretty cool here today. ( Rick Rock bought me a Yonex dress not so long ago, a blue one that is soooo Elena- indeed, one that Elena wore in pink a lot.) But what got my interest today about Elena's outfit was her clear crisscross bra-straps. My Yonex dress had boob cushions inside the bra area that moved around and bugged the shit out of me. So I removed them, which the dress is easily designed to make possible. So maybe Elena removed the boob cushions and opted for the fancy clear strap (Victoria Secrets? Maxim is a lucky man!) bra instead. And so! Elena and me! So much in common.

I'm brain damaged from jet lag but am so happy I have a week of tennis watching.

My lover (in my fantasy life) Monaco is losing to the Japanese Nishikori. Nishikori is REALLY good. But Monaco is super HOT. I am brain damaged. So that is all I have to say right now. In Alaska, I saw bears, moose, whales, sea lions, otters, lots of salmon, uhhh.. I hiked, I biked, a I sit, wine in hand, watching Monaco lose. BUT! It's not over.
Yours Truly,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The LG&T Challenger in Binghamton.... we're a little behind...

Rock Rock on guest duty while Paula is in... Alaska!?!
Everyone is getting ready for the US Open here in NYC... but my mind is still on the Binghamton challenger we saw three weeks ago! Or was it four? I don't know, the end of the summer has become a blur. I don't know what;s going on.

This was our 3rd year going to the event, official site here, and the primary goal was to cheer on the pros from the local club, The Binghamton Tennis Center, Billy and Chris, who qualified for the doubles with 2 tough wins before going down to Zib and Dlouhy, 2 Slovakian guys who have been around on the tour.

But as a bonus, we got to see the Battistone brothers with their 2 handed racquets and the one with his crazy leaping volleyball serve. I got a pretty good picture:
Look how crazy high off the ground! And you can kind of see the 2 handles.
Carsten Bell and another guy beat the Battistone's in the final - I'm not a huge doubles person in general, but it was fun to watch. Paul Capdeville of Chile won the singles, and that was pretty interesting... all in all, challengers are cool, because a) these guys really care, and b) what separates number 125 in the world from number 200 is an interesting thing to ponder. Capdeville is a decent player, has spent time in the top 100, but you could be forgiven for not knowing who he is. But watching him wear down Rajiv Ram int he final, it's like, Damn! He's really good at tennis! But they all are! It's hard to even see how it is happening sometimes, but the outcome, after Ram took the first set, was decisive. It's kind of freaky to watch, like Capdevvile put some spooky hex on Ram and he just stopped believing he could win. Weird, and cool.
Anyway US starts tomorrow - my picks: Djokovic over Murray, and Safina over Dementieva.
Cheers - Rick Rock

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gonzalez defeats Blake at the Olympics and Nadal beats Djokovic in the Third

Man, I wish I had seem all of this. The coverage sort of sucks for the Olympics. But wow, is Blake pissed. I've seen suspect behavior from Gonzo before- he's still not as bad as his countryman Massu - but I am more or less with Blake on this one. Like Justine Henin years ago at the French, not owning up to holding her hand (which was worse, cause she held up her hand, which is more "responsiblility you" than a ball hitting your raquet, which one could even say " I didn't feel it?", you know, unlike holding up your hand...)

Blake went on and on about how his father raised him. He used the word integrity. He had a right to say those words. He did make 70 errors. So as scummy as Gonzo was, Blake lost the match, or so it seems from looking at the stats. It reminds me also of the Venus v. Sprem match, where the chair messed up the score! Richard Williams said, Venus lost the match because she made 49 unforced errors, not because of that one point. He also said, about the chair, He made a mistake. We all do. DAMN! He is such a class act.

Gonzo- you are not a class act. If you are still going out with the lovely Gisela Dulko- well, if I were her, hmmm. I would maybe be disappointed. And if I were her, like, if I were me secretly in the body of Gisela, and you, Gonzo, you know, wanted to do it, I would even though I don't like you right now. But hey, how many chances do I have to be in the body of a professional female athlete and be made love to by a hot Latin tennis player? I would have to do it anyway. Just the once. Anyway, I have not heard from him whether he felt it or not, or is denying feeling it, or that sort of thing. Or if he is gonna go the Justine route and say, It's up to the chair to call. Which, technically may be so. And these guys do play to win. No holding back there. That said, I feel like if it were a Spaniard or an Argentine (OK, minus Coria), they would own up to it. There is this "honor" thing. For some reason, the Chileans are different. At least I feel I can really say that about Gonzo, and Massu, who comes off as a real ass.

And Djokovic trying to hold back the tears. What a match- I only got to see the end of the third, but I'll agree with Arias - Djokovic made some errors, and Nadal played steadier. And that was that.

Now they are playing badminton??!!! And don't get me started on the volleyball. Or archery. I'm sorry, all sports are good, I know that. But I'm gonna go see if DC is on the tennis channel. It's the quarters today. Oh yes, it's on ESPN2! HiDef. Yeah!

Yours Truly,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Andy Roddick

Well, Juan Martin Del Potro has been proving all of the many people (including JMac) who say he'll be top ten right. I never saw it in him before- he seemed ungainly - but last night, I saw it! He's filled out, he's gotten more comfortable and settled in his body, he has a good new haircut- I like longish hair but it didn't suit him - and his game is fantastic. The first set was a stunning display of power and precision, the score- 6/1 Del Potro. Andy fought harder, changed tactics, and made for an interesting second set.

Then, last night I had a very wierd dream about Del Potro. It had to do with finding out he had been in jail for a year or so, and so he was very very tough. I woke up and thought that I had heard that on the TV last night, but as my mind woke up further (coffee helped), I realized I had just had another one of my wacky tennis dreams.

Yours Truly,

Friday, August 8, 2008

Battistone Brothers' Two-handled Rackets!

Yes, I watched them win the quarterfinals in Binghamton today. And yes, it was, hands down, the wierdest thing I've even seen tennis-wise. That said, Gotta Love Em! Oh, I am too stupid to know how to imbed this, but I will eventually get someone to do it for me.
One of these dudes- BTW- changes hands mid serve. Yes, he throws up the ball with his right hand, switches hands, and then hits the ball with his right hand.
Man, I love how wacky these brothers are.

Yours Truly,

The Binghamton Challenger 2008

People! I just came back from actually playing a lot of tennis instead of sitting on my ass drinking and watching tennis! I went to Total Tennis, in Saugerties, New York, where I have been many times. They have a kids' camp and an adult camp. You play about five hours a day. I had to take an advil on one day. The pros there are- largely- SOUTH AMERICAN!! I had Mattias first, this really lovely man from Salta, Argentina. He had that whole Argentine Pride thing going on. I loved it. Then I had Flavio, from Brazil, who I have had before. He is hilarious. Sometimes, you are laughing so much you forget to hit the ball. And then there was this Colombian guy who helped out with my group once for an hour or so because my group was overly full because one woman insisted on being in it even though they tried to move her out (people, man, I could go on here about her, and others, but I won't, I won't feed the irritation, I'm gonna try to focus on the love) and I can't remember his name because- he made me nervous he was SOOO HOT! I practiced my Spanish with him some. In my mind, I call him Guapo. He will be in my mind for a loooong time. TOTAL TENNIS is great. We call it, in a silly voice, TOTALLLY TENNIS! Here is a link:

Now, to the subject matter of the title- I love Challengers! The quality of the tennis is so high, it's so so intimate. And it's cheap. And The Binghamton Challenger is near where I spend my summers. The Binghamton Challenger rocks. If you have a Challenger event near you -GO!

Before heading off to TOTALLY TENNIS to try to get handsome South American tennis pros to flirt with me, I went to one day of the qualifying rounds of the Binghamton Challenger. I was there cheering on my tennis pros from The Binghamton Tennis Center. Two of my regular teacher/pros were trying to qualify for the doubles- and they won! I have never been so stressed out watching (that's a lie, every time my boys play a match I want to barf) a tennis match. These are men in their thirties, beating young kids. I was soooo sooo proud of them. Now, I am just getting to the Binghamton area and I have not kept up with who has been winning there. But today are the quarters and I plan on stopping by. During the qualies, I walked by Scoville Jenkins. I said, "Scoville Jenkins!" He said, "How you doing?" I said, "You're awesome!" And that was it. I also saw Paul Capdeville, who was the number one seed there- a cute Chiliean, who I remember for getting into a shoving match with Ancic once. He sat in and watched some of the match where my GUYS WON! GO BILLY AND KRIS! Of course, this was last weekend. We'll see who is left in the draw. No matter, of course, because they are so awesome for qualifying- they won two qualie matches!!!! ( I might post some pics later). Here is a link:

Here is some more funny info on the event. Last year, Tomas Johansson won it- the man has won the Autralian Open. He's good! And he beat, in the final, this guy named Vemic, who Andy Roddick beat last night in LA! Vemic was a true eccentric at the final last year. He skipped a lot and wore black socks. I loved it. Vemic is also Rennae Stubbs' partner for World Team Tennis. Anyway, it 's a great even. More later!
Yours Truly,

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rafa is Number One

Hi - Rick Rock here -

Yay. It's time. I love Roger, but, this is good for tennis. It just opens everything up The idea of Roger being just another player in the hunt - and Djokovic for sure feels he is Nadal's equal - so all of a sudden things are wide open. 4 years of dominance to some degrees equals a a little boredom... so this is all good. Plus, Rafa really deserves it. I often fretted about how sad it would be if Rafa never achieved number one, after all he had achieved. It could have just been a knee injury. But he has done it.

I am watching Djiokovic beat up on Nadal right now, and I think Djokovic will win this match. But you never know, Rafa often starts slow. So we'll see, but I think Rafa having a little let down after achieving number one, and Djokovic all the more eager to say, hey, what about me??

By the way, I have something to say about Federer and Karlovic, and Murray and Karlovic. Watching Federer in that match, I kept thinking, has he come in to net once? You have to take the initiative against Karlovic, especially as his game has improved. Murray showed that - he adjusted, played more aggressive, and had at least 3 breaks in 2 sets. Roger is a smart player, obviously , but he kept trying to kill it from the baseline, and hit tons of balls long? Que?? On the other hand, I gained respect for Murray - he played Karlovic so well, adjusted, realized he needed to be aggressive, etc.

Fun times in tennis - change is good. Let's see if Rafa can adjust against Novak. If not, there will be many more chances, many more challenges. I'm looking forward to the new tennis order...

Signing out - Rick Rock

The Semi-finals of Cincinnatti 2008

People. I am just starting to watch the Murray v. Karlovic match.

I must share this bit of info, though. I AM NUMBER ONE IN THE ATP RAQUET BRACKET CHALLENGE!!!! My name there, if you wanna check my picks, is iheartnalby. Now, I must also say this: I will not remain number one. Because the later rounds are rewarded more points and I did not get the final round right (I have Rog winning it). So, I will most likely drop down to below the top three, which means I will not win one of the great three prizes awarded the winners. BUT!!!! For now!!!! I am number one out of 11471 people. Man, for a compulsive tennis fan, it's like, a really great thing. I am going to just be happy all day. Although at the end of the day, I won't be number one anymore.

Yours Truly,

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nadal defeats Haas

Well, a great energy throughout, a night match vibe in the best way, and a confusingly bad tiebreak to end it. What was that? Ah, the great mystery of tennis. Sort of like the great mystery of life and like, how smart whales are.

Yours Truly,