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*cough*Pro Bowl*cough*

That's something but it's like eating oatmeal while you're waiting for the ribs to come off the grill.

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That's something but it's like eating oatmeal while you're waiting for the ribs to come off the grill.

Great analogy. My favorite Pro Bowl memory from the past 5 years was when Jeff Saturday switched to playing center for the AFC so he could have one more series with Peyton Manning before he retired.   --sorry, off topic. 

 

I do wish there were more up and coming players in tennis. On the women's side, it seems that when a tennis player has a big victory, usually against Serena, she's lauded as the next great hope. (See: Sloane Stevens, Roberta Vinci). But not much happens after that victory. 

 

And I'm tired of watching the Top 3 on the men's side. I'm ready for a new generation of tennis powerhouses to rise up. 

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I do wish there were more up and coming players in tennis. On the women's side, it seems that when a tennis player has a big victory, usually against Serena, she's lauded as the next great hope. (See: Sloane Stevens, Roberta Vinci). But not much happens after that victory.

I remember the announcers slobbering over Sloane Stephens after she beat Serena, wondering if it represented the "changing of the guard." Look how well that turned out. Serena won three Slams last year, got to the semis of the fourth and is on track to win this year's Aussie. Meanwhile, Sloane has yet to win a tournament and her ranking has dropped. Bouchard has pretty much crashed and burned as well. Edited by BitterApple
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Sloane has yet to win a tournament and her ranking has dropped.

 

No question Sloane has been terribly disappointing since her win over a seriously injured Serena (why do sportswriters and broadcasters neglect to mention that?), but she has now won 2 WTA tournaments, last year in Washington and this year in Auckland.  That's one reason why her crashing out in the first round at Oz was such a horrible disappointment.

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I know twins run in Federer's family ... does he have a previously-unknown (and terrible at tennis) twin who has taken his place for this match with Djokovic?

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I know twins run in Federer's family ... does he have a previously-unknown (and terrible at tennis) twin who has taken his place for this match with Djokovic?

 

I made it to a set and a half before I shut off the television and went back to sleep because I didn't see any point to watching. I was shocked to see it went to four sets when I woke up. I may not be a fan but I have to give props where it's deserved and Djokovic pretty much owns the men's game at this point, so kudos to him. 

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Hingis and Mirza won another Major doubles title, their 3rd in a row.   It's pretty amazing when you think about it that the top singles player and one of the number one Doubles team are 34 and 35 years old respectively. Sania is going to turn 30 this year as the "young one" of the group.

 

One would think that other players would eat up the Hingis serve even now, (she did did get broken in  her first two service games and very nearly her third) but she makes up for it in so many ways, and she still has the best hands I've ever seen in women's tennis.  Those drop volleys and scoop lobs and inside out change of pace shots are still amazing to watch.

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Yes, kudos to Djokovic. He's the reason I haven't watched so many Grand Slam finals in recent years.

 

Edited to add: Real respect for Raonic today, a player I've never much liked up till now. 

Edited by Etta Place

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I do wish there were more up and coming players in tennis.

I have some hope for Borna Coric. He looked really good in the first round of the US Open against Rafa. He made it to his first final earlier  this year (lost to Stan) but he really hasn't done much outside of the juniors yet.

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Hingis and Mirza won another Major doubles title, their 3rd in a row.   It's pretty amazing when you think about it that the top singles player and one of the number one Doubles team are 34 and 35 years old respectively. Sania is going to turn 30 this year as the "young one" of the group.

 

Heh, they got nuthin' on the team of Nestor and Stepanek who are finalists in the men's doubles. They are a combined age of 80 years with Nestor the oldest at 43.

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Well damn, you go Kerber. When I saw her quarters and semi-final matches, I thought she could have a chance. But I've been burned so many times expecting a good final and it not happening, that I was wary she could actually pull off the upset. Granted Serena wasn't at her best but Kerber was so solid and relentless on many points and basically forced Serena into a number of errors.

eta: Serena was very gracious in defeat.

Edited by truthaboutluv

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Congrats to Kerber! Hopefully she can build on this - women's tennis needs more stars, not to mention rivals for Serena.

 

I totally agree that Serena was exceptionally gracious. As she's grown up, she's gotten more savvy about giving her opponents credit, but she seemed genuinely happy for Angie. This makes me think that Kerber must be a nice person who is well-liked in the locker room, and I think Serena was also aware that Kerber played very well. As much as Serena played badly, I think a decent amount of that (like the missed volleys) was forced by Kerber. She did a great job of consistently making Serena hit one or two or even three more good shots to win a point, and not too many players these days can consistently hit those balls that drop low on a player at the net. Kerber also did a good job holding her nerve, which she's had problems with in the past. Overall, a really entertaining women's final.

 

I'm also wondering if losing this match might take a little pressure off Serena for the rest of the year. She won't have to deal with any more talk of a grand slam or matching Steffi's golden slam from 1988. So maybe losing one early could help her later in the year?

 

Really hoping Murray can beat Djokovic in the men's final, but I don't hold out much hope.

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I'm also wondering if losing this match might take a little pressure off Serena for the rest of the year. She won't have to deal with any more talk of a grand slam or matching Steffi's golden slam from 1988. So maybe losing one early could help her later in the year?

 

I was just talking to a friend of mine about this.  Serena actually looked somewhat relieved when she hugged Kerber at the end of the match.  I think at this point the only think she's interested in now is surpassing Graf's 22 wins, and I think she can do that this year or next year.  But other than that, the pressure is definitely off.

 

I wish I could say that I'm rooting for either one in the Murray/Djokovic match, but I can't.

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BORED.

I watched the final. Not sure why, maybe I was just hoping that something interesting would happen. Novak didn't even look like he was sweating.

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Honestly I was fast asleep. I woke up about 6 a.m. and checked the score, saw that Djokovic was up two sets and went right back to sleep. 

That's exactly what I did!

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Sharapova caught doping. Apparently this drug was very popular among eastern European athletes. We'll see how long they ban her for it. 

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You'd think if Sharapova's been taking this drug for ten years, she'd have a better head-to-head record against Serena.

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Sharapova caught doping. Apparently this drug was very popular among eastern European athletes. We'll see how long they ban her for it. 

 

Part of Djokovic's magic potion?

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Her explanation is that she didn't read the e-mail saying that the drug would be added to the banned list.  Does she really expect people to believe that a world class athlete worth hundreds of millions of dollars would not have a small army of trainers, personal assistants, and handlers to be aware of things like this?  I'd be astounded if every single thing that goes into her isn't meticulously cataloged somewhere and cross-checked with the banned list.

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There are a dozen plus high level athletes across different sports that have gotten burned by this in 2016 drug tests.  Some have said they knew  and that they'd discontinued use but didn't realize it would stay in their system that long. Apparently the drug was watchlisted in 2014 and WADA said in early October 2015 that it was banned as of January 1, 2016.  I suspect that some of them kept using right up until the deadline since it was supposed to clear the system quite quickly. 

 

Apparently one of the red flags for WADA was that the drug was showing up in 2.2% of the samples tested for a while, leading them to look for a study on off-label uses for that heart medication. 

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I read today that the normal course for this medication is 4-6 weeks, yet Maria has been taking it for a decade. I'm just not buying her story. If she was at that high a risk for heart disease, how has she managed to train and compete as a professional athlete for nearly fifteen years?

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I think the most damning thing for Maria is her claim that her "family doctor" prescribed this drug for medical conditions.

OK, Maria's been based in the US since 1994(?) and one of the main criticisms of some Russian tennis fans through the years was that she was more "American" than Russian, only occasionally visiting the homeland, with her main homes/residency in both Florida and California.

So what doctor in the States would prescribe a medication not approved yet by the FDA? I doubt she was jetting off to Europe every month to see her family doctor. Her explanation just doesn't pass the common sense test of plausibility.

Edited by caracas1914
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CEO of Indian Wells (not for much longer, I hope): "If I was a lady player, I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport." And that's just one sentence. 1, 2.

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Even Patrick McEnroe and Brad Gilbert (!) said on ESPN that the CEO should step down. I'm thinking/hoping this won't just disappear with a simple apology.

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OMG, I just saw that article. What a sexist tool.

 

Hello, VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS?  Steffi Graf?  Billie Jean King?  Chris Evert?  Martina Navratilova?  

 

I hope he resigns and crawls back under his rock.  What century is this again?

Edited by SophiaD
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Hey, I'm as big a feminist as you'll find anywhere but this guy isn't completely wrong. He's talking as a director of a tennis tournament whose job is to fill the seats of his tennis stadium. The bottom line is that the women don't. Serena's a big name in the US but she isn't beloved around the world which is where most tennis happens these days. And he's right about Rafa and Roger too. Granted, there are a lot of men who should go down on their knees every night as well because tennis wouldn't be nearly as big a deal if it weren't for those two.

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Well, one of the reasons his tournament hasn't had a big draw on the women's side (assuming that is factually correct) for the last, oh say, 15 years is that the two biggest stars Venus and Serena Williams were boycotting said tournament because of ugly racist reactions against them in that tournament so long ago.  So, way to go, Mr. Tournament Director, let's just give Serena and Venus (who've only just come back here)along with all other women players, a very big reason to boycott against this tournament once again.

 

And also, one could have a reason to debate whether his tournament needs to pay the women as much as the men, but one doesn't have to phrase it in the most ugly, vile, sexist way, as he did.  It certainly detracts from any legitimate concern he may actually have and hints at underlying issues that have nothing really to do with the economics of the situation.

 

Here's an interesting article commenting on how his statements should disqualify him from running a co-ed event.

 

 

You can't have a tournament director for a men's and women's tournament who doesn't believe the women carry their weight. Co-ed events draw greater interest, prize money, lucrative television packages and sponsorship. Part of the reason the men's tour has that interest is because the women are playing -- and vice versa.

Edited by pennben
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Also, just for giggles about the always dominant men's side of the tennis world, here's an article from SI in 2002 that touches on the men's league courting the women's league because the men's side of things was not looking so good back then and the Williams' were dominating tennis:

 

 

Small wonder, then, that the men's tour has been making overtures to the WTA, inviting the women's tour to relocate its
offices from St. Petersburg to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where the men are headquartered, and looking into the possibility of
holding more joint events. This interest in joining forces with the women's game--unimaginable five years ago--has been glossed
over with corporate-speak such as "building synergies," "creating efficiencies" and "integrating resources." But it
boils down to this: 32-year-old Andre Agassi won't be around much longer, and no other male player comes close to the
international star wattage of the Williamses. Why not try to get in on the action? Says Kevin Wulff, the WTA tour's CEO,
"[Courting the women] is the smart thing to do, and they realize it."

 

Maybe, just maybe, the men aren't always 'dragging' the women along, but things work in cycles and that both sides work better together?

Edited by pennben
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Also, just for giggles about the always dominant men's side of the tennis world, here's an article from SI in 2002

 

That's from 14 years ago. Things change in fourteen years and in tennis' case, Rafa and Roger came along which is exactly what Moore said. I'm very sure the ATP is worried about what's going to happen when both Rafa and Roger retire because the current #1 certainly isn't a big draw and guys like Raonic and Nishikori and other younger players aren't bringing the crowds in. Perhaps the women will develop a new young star who can drag the men's game along with her but right now, it doesn't look good for either side.

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Here's the thing though,as this article explains, the men and women generally have separate tournaments (ATP/WTA).  The men on their tournaments make much more than the women on their tournaments.  There is only equal pay at the Majors and a handful of the wealthy co-ed tournaments such as Indian Wells.  It seems rather ridiculous to roll back the clock and say, even where the women have fought for equal pay and earned it from this handful of tournaments, and men make more on their tournament side elsewhere.....that's not enough, it is imperative that they make more than women in every single tournament.  And trust me, even though Novak said 'sure, if in the future women draw in more, I'd be fine with the women getting paid more than men', that would never, never happen.  Period.

 

ETA:  Raymond Moore has "stepped down" as head of the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Tournament.  As if this were going to end any other way.

 

ETA2:  This article is fantastic!:  Who's Better on Sexism, The ATP or a Potato?:

 

 

Various ATP players have weighed in with some hot takes on the WTA in the last few years. To figure out how to assess those players’ comments, I thought I’d compare them to a potato’s comments on the WTA to see who comes out on top.

Edited by pennben
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It is so amazing women get anything done you know because of "the hormones and different stuff"

Edited by tom87
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So Djoke starts his frantic attempt at p.r. control by saying "Euphoria and adrenalin after the win on Sunday got the best of me and I’ve made some comments that are not the best articulation of my view, and I would like to clarify them." as a way to explain why he thinks women have trouble controlling their hormones? Okey dokey.

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Andy Murray Beats Potato! http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2016/03/23/3762621/andy-murray-feminist-hero/

 

This is why I still try to enjoy watching him play.

 

I'm going to have to try to more as well.  Although, sometimes I just get the giggles at how utterly, spectacularly he both implodes and explodes simultaneously when things go wrong for him and it just keeps spiraling.  I do appreciate that he seems like a good guy, but I just can't help myself sometimes:)

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On another note, I have no problem with online dating, but those AnastasiaDate.com commercials on Tennis Channel seem pretty sexist to me. Ick! YMMV, of course.

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On another note, I have no problem with online dating, but those AnastasiaDate.com commercials on Tennis Channel seem pretty sexist to me. Ick! YMMV, of course.

I've seen them a few other places, and yes they are - not to mention more than a little shady...

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I was so happy for Rafa when he won Monte Carlo today, for the NINTH time! What an incredible statistic. (If it was Fed or Djoke who had that kind of record somewhere, the commies and the media would be going nuts and we'd never hear the end of it.) And Rafa did it after having a really really tough draw but in the end, the obstacles in his path to victory are going to help him in the long run. It was so great to see him hitting and playing with so much more confidence than he's had for awhile after suffering through so many injuries and illness. Vamos Rafa! I have been a true blue fan and supporter through all the good times and the bad, and today was very very sweet.

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I thought the media was very complimentary of Rafa and what he accomplished. My timeline was filled with tweets from Nike, sports networks, tennis commentators and fans. And I thought the ESPN commentators were pretty shady towards Djokovic with their need to mention at least 3-4 times that Novak barely had the ATP titles record for two weeks (which admittedly I did laugh at). I also saw plenty of "the King of Clay is back" comments. 

 

I thought Rafa showed great promise of things maybe turning around in Indian Wells. The biggest issue I've found in the last two years, aside from his serve, is his confidence, which was understandable. But it meant that when matches got close and tight, he tightened up and the serve would fall apart and he just couldn't dig himself out. Indian Wells was the first time in awhile I saw him dig out of close set and close matches and even if he lost to Novak in the finals, I was really impressed with how well he played the first set. So I am thrilled he's gotten this win, which hopefully means the confidence is coming back. Still a little iffy on that serve though. 

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This Federer fan is so happy for Rafa.  He's such a great player and such a lovely guy, and it's been so painful watching his recent struggles.

 

Vamos, Rafa (except against Fed)!

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Speaking of Federer, did anyone see this tweet from Chris Evert when he lost in the semi-finals?

 

https://twitter.com/ChrissieEvert/status/720985621033054208

 

Let's just say non-Federer fans weren't too impressed and gave her quite the twitter dragging for it. Personally I don't know why anyone's surprised. Evert has hardly ever hidden her Federer adoration. And today she linked to an article talking about why some shouldn't get too excited about Rafa being back just because of Monte Carlo and once again...let's just say it didn't go down too well with some fans. 

Edited by truthaboutluv

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I'm a big Dmitrov fan and enjoy watching him play but he MUST be disciplined/suspended for his actions today. That was both an epic collapse and unforgivably, childish behavior.

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*sigh*

yet another tournament big wig makes sexist comment about female tennis players.

Although, to be fair to Tiriac, he sounds barely intelligible. I don't know whether the interview was done in a language he is not terribly fluent in, or the translation was spotty-- but his comments seemed off. 

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