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Archive for April 1st, 2008

Federer at Miami.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Will the increase in ace count and the spike in the first serve percentage continue as weather gets rough?

Matches Aces Unforced errors Ist serve pct. Sets lost Time on court. Tie-breaks
1 2 16 73 0 1:06 0
2 4 10 73 0 0:44 0
3 12 11 78 0 1:13 1
Avg/Total 18 37 75 0 3:03 1

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Hello there, my name is Lucy, and I’m from Brisbane, Australia, at uni. I support my favourite tennis players quite fanatically…Safin, Federer and Baghdatis…and I think watching them play on TV and digging my nails nervously into my skin swaying back and forth will somehow make them play better.
British TV is really bloody fantastic and always good for a laugh: One Foot in the Grave, Father Ted,Dad’s Army, Black adder, Keeping Up Appereances…Midsomer Murders, Miss Marple, Doctor Who. Also love Cat Stevens (yusuf islam)…ha!
Well, all you guys on this forum seem pretty darn cosy! May I say Australia is producing some absolutely terrible tennis ‘talents’ at the moment…Lleyton Hewitt is just the pits, really, and that’s not being unpatriotic.
Hmmm… Nadal makes me laugh, he is a tad is Uncle Toni…and Djokovic is just too much, can’t stand him (but that is pretty much the consensus)…Ivanovic is gorgeous…and Serena is pretty hilarious.
Jim Courier who does commentary for the AO is the worst! GO FEDERER…

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Why Roddick is in a rush to get hooked.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008


Isn’t this a no freaking brainer, for crying out loud?

The guy has had miserable luck with the ladies so far. The quality he has attracted has been atrocious at best.

Suddenly this mermaid drops in his lap and he wants to close the deal before she comes to her senses. That’s pretty much it. The slippery slide his career is on, surely has exacerbated the problem.

In this jungle, as you start to drop from the totem pole, the quality of tail you attract goes down with you. So Roddick is just making hay while the sun shines.

But it clearly is the wrong way to go about it. The motivations are skewed and the cardinal rules of getting married are being breached and violated left right and center.

Hope someone wakes him up before he looses everything or at least half of what he has.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008


tee hee, i just found this “mailbox” thread… how my profile has changed! why i never even mentioned that second to federer, i loved the clinical playing style of ivan lendl! soundz like a cool guy too.

other updates: my musical preferences: lots of upcoming indie bands, jazz, classical…

who i look like? i could flatter myself & say yes to vivien leigh but might get laughed at (i don’t see it myself)!

physical activities: cycling, tennis, running, hiking, yoga

food: papayas, strawberries, organic meat, hazelnuts, greens, lemons, seaweed, tofu — french, chinese & italian food!

i am:

* canadian
* play some tennis
* food: hazelnuts, strawberries, lambchops, zabaglione, sushi
* music: rolling stones, the fall, sigur ros, ween, belle sebastian, gorky zygotic mynci, broken social scene, radiohead, apartments, the carpenters
* actors: gary oldman
* peeves: walmart (read “the walmart effect”), bush, people who say “funky”
* fav tennis players: federer, gasquet, ferrer, youzhny, roddick, williams sisters, mauresmo, henin. use to watch borg, navritalova & becker & macenroe (thought post serve&volley tennis was boring, so stopped watching. until 2006… prior to wimbledon ‘06, never even heard of nadal & federer. now i am all caught up. voraciously read everything i get my hands onto regarding the atp tour & federer. hey, i even know the jockstrap size of practically all top 100 players! (jk). have met federer, tursunov, djokovic, nadal, kohlschreiber
* authors: hermann hesse
* also like: painting, industrial design, nature, running, eckhart tolle, cycling, boardgames, reading, photography
* don’t own: cellphone, car, pharmaceuticals, bandages, tv
* have: new 24″ imac, nad & rotel stereo system, a simple life.
* happy to see the sun rise & set

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

well ladies and gents im pretty new to the site, i have been coming on but never really spoke.
but i tend to voice my opinion now D
im 24 from the UK (i know jenny is) hehe.
born and raised in great britian. i dont have kids yet, still young as i like to think.
im a huge federer fan have been for yearsss.
i also like nadal great sportsman and roddick he is hilarious, tbh i like alot of tennis players just djoker i dislike. sorry might just be me.
i like to keep with the ladies on the tour, i see its mainly the mens that get the site’s attention. william sisters rock :D.
well will leave it at that.

lets see,

– i think i have had chance to read through all the comments now. hard to remember it all though.
seems im the baby of the group. all can mother me its fine D hehe
– i dont play tennis anymore, i used to in school and college but i was pretty rubbish so i stuck to just watching it.
– watched tennis from says 2000. when i left school pretty much. been fan of federer from the start.
– as i have watched it more over the years began to like more players nadal, roddick and ferrer
– i work fulltime and like coming on the net for this site, roger federer site and ebay’s good.
– nice to see other people like tennis as im pretty much the only one, as my family dont and none of my friends so hard to discuss the tennis side.
– movies- al the bourne films are fantastic plus there might be a 4th :D, step up, oceans trilogy. rush hour aswell hilarious
-music- i like updated music most, but i like whitney houston and micheal buble too.
-actors- matt damon, chris tucker.
– i have never been to watch tennis live, which is not good, but no one likes it to go with. but i do want to go to wimby one day it will be amazing.

will update as i go on, dont want to bore all you at once. he

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Favourite clowns- Federer and Serena
Love to watch-ferrero, Gasquet, Berdich, Tsonga, Blake, Murray, Ferrer, Venus, Anna Ivanovic, Lindsay, Justine
Ex clowns- Sampras, Agassi, Rafter
Fav sport activity- Watching Tennis and Taking Tennis lessons for mums.
Why do I like tennis- I didn’t at the beginning. I hated it because I didn’t understand it and broadcasting swallowed my fave TV shows. I use to love cricket and the betting scandal in late 90’s made me swap to an individual sport. It was Golf or Tennis!!!! I picked Tennis because some one is actually playing most of the time.
How did I learn tennis- Purely by watching and listening to commentary.
Those days we didn’t have pay TV so I didn’t even know how Gustavo turned #1.I had no idea about ATP tours. I only knew about GS’s because they were the only ones on free to air channels.
Yeah, yeah, yeah!!! I was under the rock ,one of the cave people!!!
I am female, married and have 2 kids[not goat babies]
I love children.
I am Passionate and fair.[Because I equally, love and hate, passionately]
Fave TV shows- Cosby show, Gilmore girls,Everybody loves Raymond, Oprah, Dr.Phil, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen,
Fave films- Emma, Save the last dance, Bridget jones’s diary, Note book, Lion King—-
Fave colour-Blue
fave flower- natural
fave food- Pork omelet, Lamb chops, rice and curry, pavlova, Tea, Choc fudge ice cream, nuts,
fave song- Kiss by a rose-Seal
You think you are Beautiful-Pete Murray
Love to do- volunteering, cooking, entertaining, music, shopping,
dress well, checking tennis planet, reading about Roger
I think this is enough about me.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

jaja, OK, sorry!! I hadn’t written about myself because I had been lazy and because I had written about myself in one or two posts here and there… but I guess people won’t go looking after my posts here and there to find out about me, right? So I’d better write a little bit right here…

I’m a 29 year old guy from Mexico… have been living in the U.S. for the past 10 years, studying and working, mainly in economics research. I have always looooved tennis although, weirdly enough, I only started playing LAST SUMMER (yes, you read that right)… I’d say that all of my friends who are tennis fans are either very good players themselves or they at least have played and are able to hit the ball around… but before last summer I had only grabbed a racquet once before when I was like 14 and I went to my friend’s club in Mexico, and we swam, and played basketball, and played football… and yes, played “tennis” also.

And I should also say that TODAY was a beautiful day here in New Haven, where I live right now, and it was the first day we hit the tennis courts!! )

Other than that, I started playing squash about 3 years ago and I love it too!! I like to run, and watch movies, play the piano, and just hang out with friends. Traveling is one of my huge passions, I just went to Finland, Estonia, and India in December-January… then Chiapas, Mexico for spring break… and now I’ll be teaching in Tokyo this coming summer and then working in Mexico City… so I’m pretty excited about that…

what else??? Can’t wait for the clay season to start… I’m applying for tickets for the RG mens’ semis and final, and if I get them, I don’t know how I’ll afford to go to France, but I’ll somehow get there to see Roger win his 13th slam!!!!!!!! jaja

Aaaaand, as I told TP recently, I loove this site and this community and I love it that we write and read about tennis all the time!!! jajaja that’s great!! and it’s really cool to read each others’ responses and start recognizing each others’ names after a while…

Anyway, ’nuff said!! Buenas noches, amigos! jaja

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

I do not know how to write about myself and appear at the top of the mail box. But I would like to let you know that I am 20 years old now and am studying music and arts in University. I do not know how to play tennis but got to watch Federer san through a relative of mine who is a professional tennis player. And I become very fond of him. I leared that he has a fan site so I went there wanting to sign up as a registered member. It was But I tried and tried and not got registered for some reason. SO I post as guest. And there saw a Jason san ’s message telling about TP site. So I discovered this site. It was at the end of my high school year and I was accepted into University. Even though we learned English for many years in high school I was not good at it at all. After coming here, I have really learned a lot and even can use what I learned here in my everyday usage.

I play piano, cello, flute and classical guitar. I used to compete in cello but injury made me stopped. I also studied Italian opera.

I have worked for my uncle as a helper in his office in Dubai for I always wanted to go there during summer holiday. It was fun .

I would like to go and study in USA one day.

I also studied German, Spanish and Italian but only for singing purpose, Now I really like English.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

I played a bit when I was younger, but not that seriously. An old flame, back in my early 20s, was an avid fan and got me interested in tennis. Mid 1970’s, so I saw Everet, Billie Jean, I watched Navratilova come up and dominate, Graf come into her own…Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, etc…then Sampras. I do admit, I did love McEnroe’s tirades, growing up as a New Yorker too…I kind of understood that kind of outlet for one’s frustrations. He had a beautiful game and was an astonishing shotmaker. Always one of my favorites. I still follow the Champions tour a bit, to see him play… There’s some good players on that Outback tour.

Anyway, I guess I found my way into tennis during the time of all those ‘great rivalries’ they point back to today, once Open Era was in full swing. And tickets were easy enough to get, plus year-end championships used to be played at Madison Sq Gdn in NY, so we saw them play often. That person who introduced me to tennis is LONG gone from my life, but my addiction to tennis has hung on strong. After the first year or so, I was finally able to make myself stop watching the ball, as I realized how many pieces have to come together in motion for that beautiful game to happen. And I appreciated the One-ness of it. The nerve-bending dynamic of a match-up between two people, not a team sport. And ‘gentleman’s rules’ somehow still apply today. I like that they still shake hands at the end… I also had a bit of a hard time when the serve and volley game came to an end. It seemed boring, as you say. I still miss it. I like when I see Roger or some of the other guys trying to do more at the net these days.

Like you, I read a lot of stuff about tennis online and elsewhere, and I read about players and shotmaking, and strategies and equipment. I set my alarm early or stay up till all hours watching tennis when it’s on. I spend all our big ‘holiday weekends’ here watching tennis, because all the tournaments fall during those times. My friends always laugh when we watch together, because I have a habit of doing a bit of my own commentary about some great shotmaking, or whatever. And all too often, a second after the words come out, the TV commentator says almost the very same thing. So I guess after 30 years I’ve picked up a lot about the sport. Heh. Enough for my pals to say, ‘Hey, you should do commentary”. Yeah. Don’t I wish!

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Born and raised in Scotland to English parents. Moved to London at 10 and have been there ever since (except for the last 3 years living in Dublin). Hope to return home this year.
Married (recently), no children
Fav players of old: Nastase, McEnroe, Becker, Agassi, Sampras
Fav currents players: Federer, Nadal, Nalbandian, Ferrer, Baghdatis, Gonzalez, Moya
All I used to know of tennis really was Wimbledon. Used to work nearby so Wimbledon fortnight would leave off work at 4pm and go straight to the courts each day. Love being able to see so much more these days with all the television coverage.
Am currently delirious with happiness as after years of trying have finally got tickets for Centre Court in the public ballot for the first Friday of Wimbledon (dare I hiope that I might finally see Federer live).
Fave films: The Apartment, It’s a wonderful life, The Way we Were, LA Confidential, Withnail and I. Odd mixture, I know.
Fave ever telly programmes: Mash and North and South (that’s the Elizabeth Gaskell victorian england one not the American Civil War)
Fave current telly: Doctor Who!!!!!
Fave song: One by U2
Interests: Watching tennis, big film fan, reading, walking, travelling.

Yikes, I sound boring.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Married since 2000
50 years old
Favorite Tennis players – Federer, Santoro, Nalbandian, Nadal, Venus Williams, Jankovic Old guard – Agassi, Graf, Connors, Noah, Edberg, Navratilova
What I do when I’m not on here – I paint pet portraits and equine art, also do house painting (interior work only unless it’s my house – I’d rather paint walls than pictures because I’m such a SLOW artist!!!) and I’m working on a screenplay (it’s not about goats and basements, but if the one I’m writing doesn’t ‘pop’, it’s nice to know I have a backup)
Some favorite movies – True Romance, Pulp Fiction, The Barbarian Invasions, Talk to Her, anything by Pedro Almodovar, Bubba Ho-tep
Favorite Actors – Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon,
Some Favorite Books – Jazz by Toni Morrison, Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Assassins by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Man by Oriana Fallaci, anything by Philip Roth
Music – very eclectic tastes Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (especially Mike Campbell’s mean guitar work), Lucinda Williams, Billie Holliday, White Stripes, Johnny Cash, (I have hundreds of favorite CD’s so I’ll stop)
Love cooking and eating great food – motto: Life is too short to eat bad food.
Some Favorite Painters – Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Joan Brown
Love Quotes
Will shut up now.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

First of all, I suggested this MONTHS ago and nothing, but the second Claire says something, there’s an entire “About You” post! What’s up with that, TP??????

I’m from Miami and right now I’m really nervous because I hear from two colleges any minute.
My favorite players are Roddick, Tursunov, and the predictable Americans (Minus Spadea).
Fave TV shows: Da Ali G Show, Supernatural, Gilmore Girls
Fave Song: Anything by John Mayer or Dave Matthews

I forgot to add Juanes to my fave music and The Lords of Discipline to my fave book.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

I am an old lady with 2 kids 10&16. I was too busy having fun so I had my eggs and my husband spream frozen and there you are, I’m an old lady with 2 young kids. It’s not too bad being retired, driving my kids here and there in my cadallac!
My 16 year old is on the tennis team at his school. MY 10 year old is probably the most talanted tennis player in the family. He’s a hand full, he tells us we will be either dead or he won’t let us alone with his children (guess fear we will be too shakey and may drop those babies). We really feel guily that we won’t be able to watch those grand kids so my son and wife can escape for a week-end together, not!I play a bit of tennis but I’m really not good, maybe cuz I don’t move too fast. I could relate to how Federer must have felt at the AO.
I didn’t start really watching tennis til a few years ago. I was sick and stuck to the couch when my husband was watching Federer. My husband said watch how good this guy is. I really,really enjoyed watching the tournament and have been a fan ever since. My husband saw Federer years ago when he was playing in Houston. There was a long rain delay so Federer didn’t play til early in the morning, like 3a.m. I rolled over and said give my ticket to someone else! My hubby came home and said you have made one of the biggest mistakes in your life! MY husband and I agree the really big one was waiting a bit too long to have those kiddo’s; but it’s hard to regret thinking back on how much fun we had!
I’ve always gotten a kick out of Nadal! At the AO tournament in an interview he said some thing to the effect, I don’t know what it is about Australia but I take alot of afternoon naps here, if I lay down I’m out for a couple of hours. His facal expressions are great. I sometimes wish Nadal was my son, life would be easier just going to tournaments and just sitting and jelling.
Well have to go, another one of those dank doctor’s appointments!
Would love to hear from you all.
Not to hurt any of your feelings but would really like to hear Jenny’s story; she really knows her tennis – I’ve learned alot from her. Plus it sounds like Jenny lives in the U.K.; maybe the hubby and I can visit sometime!

One more thing about me – My real name is Danette, my Mom’s maiden name is Claire, love that name so thought I’d use it (don’t really like Danette)!
Also to figure out where we all are in life, my age is 49!
I’m obsessed (sp) with working on crocheting an afgan for my son but some how can stop a moment and look at this site )

My Fav Movie – Sound of Music
Fav color – yellow
One of Fav thing to do -have my husband all to myself for a week-end
Fav to do as a family – play doubles
Fav music – Frank Sinatra (grow up with hearing his voice, nice memories plus Frank and I share the same birthday) and Maroon 5 (my son and I sing to their music in the car)
Fav TV show _ LOST – do any of you watch that?
Fav thing ever – enjoy each and every day,laugh alot. I had a life threatening disease and realize how precious life is. I did have children later in life due to infertility problems so those boys are so precious to my husband and I.
Sorry if you guys thought my first post was so goofy.
Jenny, so you must have heard great things about the weather in Buffalo, like the blizzard of 1976! I spent some time in my basement – to get away from my family and ride my exercise bike.
People didn’t go out of their houses for days!

PS alot of the above is true, just added some stuff to make it more interesting ) 🙂 i.e do have 2 boys, did get pregnant later in life (not as old as I lead you to believe), did miss seeing Federer in Houston ,do play some tennis, did grow up in Buffalo,N.Y., second thought would rather be Federer’s mom; wouldn’t act like Djerko’s mom – heck I’d take some money and go on a great vacation – forget about taking time to say stupid things. Now, I won’t take up more space, you turn! ) 🙂

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008


Married with a 22yr old son.
Live in the UK.
Played tennis a long time ago after watching Bjorn Borg, but come from a sporting family gymnastics, cricket [hobby] professional boxing [grandfather].
Fav colour green.
Fav films – Continental, mostly French. Ha.Ha also The Third Man!
Fav music – Classical and the power ballads. I love Springsteen’s The Streets of Philadelphia.
Current favourite boys – Federer, Ferrer, Gonzalez, Nalbandian.
Love to watch – Nadal, Ferrero, Moya, Verdasco, Ancic, Mahut, Hewitt, Santoro, Blake.
Ladies: Henin, Mauresmo.
Previous favs – Borg, McEnroe, Edberg, Kuerten, Coria, [still love Coria, I’m hoping he will get better].
btw Claire, my late favourite uncle and godfather was born in Buffalo and went on to live in Ohio.

Sorry I forgot Pete Sampras!

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Three clowns yet to drop a set at Miami.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

-Federer: One tie-break.

-Nadal: One 7-5.

-Berdych: Worst case scenario 6-3.

Who wins the degree of difficulty battle?

Berdych. He beat Querrey, Ferrero and a hot Tursunov. Federer had Monfils, Soderling and Acasuso, while Nadal handled Becker, aging Kiefer and Mathieu.

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, celebrates his 6-4, 6-4, win over Paul-Henri Mathieu,of France, in a fourth-round match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Tuesday, April 1, 2008.  

Nadal finds himself exactly where he was at Indian Wells, where he overcame both Tsonga and Blake back to back in long gruelling matches, only to go down tamely in straight sets to Djokovic in the next match.

Although the rivalry between Blake and Nadal is well documented, Berdych has not lost a single match against Nadal on a hard surface in three tries. Their H2H is 3-3. Nadal’s wins have come on clay(2) and grass. So he is not too far away from where Tsonga was for him at IW. Berdych’s great run here so far may be just adding to the euphoria.

If these two matches do go the distance, Nadal’s dismal record at such situations will be staring in his face against Federer or will it be Roddick?

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after a point against Jose Acasuso of Argentina during day nine of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 1, 2008 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) 

Federer’s boat is not too different from what he had at Indian Wells either. Soderling’s retirement in the second set may have had the same affect Haas’s withdrawal had at IW, albeit to a lesser degree. The tie-break he was taken to in the first set against Acasuso who? may have been the product of that.

Consolation? He will be facing Roddick instead of Tipsarevic or Djokovic when he jumps into the pool from the air-conditioned suite. If he faces Benneteau who?, he will be back to square one and if he faces Tipsy next it will be deja vu all over again.

Federer is still firmly entrenched in the ‘lack of match play against a quality opponent’ boat, the result of which could show as early as the semifinals, if not on Sunday.

It’s good that Djokovic is out, because Djokovic’s performance this year must have rattled Federer which is not the perfect mix to play him in the semis or the finals with the current run up and opponents.

Federer desperately needs to steal this opportunity to get a footing on the circuit and stop the freaking bleeding. A title here is a must with clay season starting right after, duh!!!!!!!

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008


My tennis experience.

Just a couple of thoughts from a tennis fan…

Ah yes, those were the glory days. 1988 was a rich year down here in Serbia, credit lines were flowing from the west and all looked fine. Economy was booming so it seemed, and export was on a roll… So my father went on a business trip to Checkoslovakia to sell some textile and on his way back he bought me a tennis racket – Kneissl brand – a modern looking wooden model slightly egg-shaped. For todays standards it out-dated sure, but then – it was something to be proud of…

Tennis was not a big deal in my house. Sure, there were cheers for Boba Zivojinovic, a top ten player from those days, but there was not really a proper fan-base in todays sense of the word. I was 7 years old at the time, and have known of tennis but not really interested in it. I mean, I loved sports and was convinced I’ll be a sportsman of as sorts, but tennis was far from my priorities.

So I took a racket as something to try-out, among soccer and waterpolo. It was just a pass-by. Strangely enough, for those 6 months of actual tennis training, it was on wooden surface in some high-school on town periphery. Not a big deal. Coach was a trainer at that club, and now I think of him, he had no idea about tennis, comparing to what people know about the game now-days. There were maybe 20 kids along me who payed for classes and he just gave us basic lessons: how to stroke, serve and approach. Nothing more. Now I think about it I say: what an slacker he was. I mean, youve got kids hungry for knowlege, oblivious of ‘outer’ world, and he slacks it…

But it doesn’t matter… I didn’t go into tennis professionally from the start so I cant complain. I quit training tennis from all sorts of reasons. I was to old, and it was very expensive for my family. So tennis remained a pass-by, something to ‘wack’. ) I always liked the feeling of striking the ball and looking at it land somewhere in the court. Its the ‘whoom’ trip thats cool. Just rally until you get a bit shorter ball, and then – engage yourself into it. Whole body motion that ends with racket-to-ball contact. Its great! Something only tennis can give you.

Now, the sad part for me is the fact that in the summer of 1997, I got right shoulder distortion – playing soccer! Can you imagine?! And I’ve got lanky constitution, you know – tall and thin – so those limb injuries always stick to ya, one way or the other. Anyway, being right-handed, my serve and forehand are weaker strokes in general than my double-handed backhand now-days, meaning I can’t always ‘power’ myself with forehand or ’serve myself out’. But its enough to keep myself alive in rally’s, enough to set up for backhand winner. Also, you can always rely on your opponent ;)

Than it’s a matter of competition. Now-days kids are literally flocking to scarce tennis courts ’cause of all the ‘NAJJ’ hype, so it’s hard to find empty courts, not to mention hefty prices…

But I can’t complain. When I play I mostly loose, but when I win – and it happens ) – It feels good as it did when I started playing tennis 20 years ago.

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Well I am from Chicago and love Novak Djokovic. Before that I loved Sampras. On the female side, I like Ana and Jelena. Like Maria. I tend to like “eastern” Europeans. They are less spoiled.

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bess from Alabama.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Federer vs Monfils. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Sarah |

Federer vs Monfils

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Chicago fan.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Anna Kournikova causes a small stir. From Sarah. Thanks.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008


Sarah |

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Anna Kournikova causes a small stir when she walks down the hallway underneath a stadium where she competed not so long ago.

Serena Williams embraces her warmly and says they should get together sometime. A shirtless Nicolas Kiefer wanders up and breaks into a startled grin when he sees her. “What are you doing walking around half-nude?” she demands in that innately sultry voice. “Hoping to see you,” he says, quick on his feet.

Kournikova beams and pushes her famous golden tresses behind her ears. She looks fit, sunny and very young, because she is — nearly five years into retirement at age 26.

Costume bracelets jingle on her arms. Many of them feature blue plastic “evil eye” beads and, according to her, cost 99 cents. “I’m obsessed with them,” she says. “They’re supposed to protect you.”

Yet Kournikova has the air of someone entirely capable of taking care of herself. She arrives early for an interview and politely asks the public relations assistant accompanying her to wait outside the room — she doesn’t like being hovered over. She sits down, pulls a light floral-patterned shawl around her shoulders to ward off the chill of air conditioning, leans forward and devotes her full attention to the questions.

Kournikova has enlisted for a sixth season of World Team Tennis competition and will play three dates this summer with her new team, the St. Louis Aces. A millionaire many times over, she does it for love, not money, although marquee players like her get high-five-figure nightly paychecks.

The circuit is a little different from the one Kournikova used to travel on the WTA tour. She’s scheduled to appear in St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Schenectady, N.Y., this July, and she has flown on discount airlines and logged considerable mileage in team vans in past seasons. She says one of her favorite rituals is stopping at a Friendly’s franchise and splitting a sundae, a habit verified by a high-ranking WTT official.

If all this sounds more grounded and earthy than you would expect from one of the most Googled women in the world, welcome to everyday Anna. People still rush at her in airports and toss gifts to her from the stands at her WTT gigs, but Kournikova has made peace with the public’s enduring fascination and spends most of her time in places where she’s no longer the center of attention.

“I can kind of control and decide where I go and what I do,” she says. “If I’m coming here today I know I’m going to be seeing press, I’m going to be seeing people and fans, so I’m prepared. When I’m at home, I lead a very quiet life. I go to the same places; I see the same people. I’ll get one paparazzi a week or something.”

Home, since 1997, is Miami, and one of Kournikova’s havens is a local Boys and Girls Club she’s been visiting for the past five years. She helps with homework and arts and crafts projects, plays kickball (a sport she’d never heard of until the kids taught her) and eats 50-cent hot dogs.

“I approached their organization myself,” she says. “They were a little shocked in the beginning, they were like, ‘You’re interested in kids?’ For me the connection is, I grew up in a tennis club. That club was all about tennis and sports; this club is about everything. It’s an after-school program. I just go to the club and hang out with the kids and basically go back into my childhood.

“It’s important to give them the attention they deserve. It’s not like even I sit there and preach about a certain subject. It’s really about just spending time and making them feel good about themselves. They’re so innocent. I love seeing their innocent smiles and their curiosity.”

Kournikova isn’t in a hurry to have children herself, though. Although she was a workaholic on the practice court, she describes herself as commitment-phobic — she and singer Enrique Iglesias have been linked on and off for years — and still in transition from being a professional athlete. Appropriately, she’s reading “Eat, Pray, Love,” the bestseller about a woman’s life passages. “I’m trying to learn to take a deep breath,” she says, inhaling to demonstrate, “but it’s hard. I guess that will come more with age and maturity and settling down a little.”

She gets her kid fix when she visits her mother and 3½-year-old half-brother — “my free baby,” as she calls him — in nearby Palm Beach. “That’s perfect for me right now,” Kournikova says. “I play with him for a couple of hours and then I say, ‘Here, take him back.’”

Life isn’t all warm fuzzies, of course. Kournikova is a businesswoman with a kite’s tail of endorsement contracts and management and PR agencies, still capitalizing on the appeal she built during her nine-year pro career before back injuries forced her to retire in 2003. That career was a success by most measures, but wound up being measured harshly because of the feline beauty that started a cottage industry.

“When I hear people say she was a pretty girl who couldn’t win, I think that’s ludicrous,” says Wayne Bryan, coach of the WTT’s Sacramento Capitals with which Kournikova was the feature attraction for three years. “She was ranked No. 1 in doubles, won Grand Slams, got to No. 8 in singles and went to the Wimbledon semifinals.

“I can’t really say enough about her. She’s funny and personable and kind. And she’s an extraordinary doubles player — she really comes alive on the doubles court. I wish she had stayed on the tour to play doubles,” says Bryan, whose twin sons Bob and Mike are the world’s top men’s team.

World Team Tennis has allowed Kournikova to stay involved without being too intimate with the game.
But Bryan also saw the thornier side of Kournikova’s fame: the extra security she needs on the road at times, the overfamiliarity of fans who have overimbibed, the gaping and unsolicited comments, as if her mere presence created a de facto red carpet. “She handles it pretty well, but I can’t imagine being her full-time,” he says.

Team tennis, clinics and exhibitions are the ideal way for Kournikova to stay involved but not intimate with the game. She watches Grand Slam action on television but doesn’t keep close track of who’s up or down; among the players she most enjoys, she said, are Justine Henin and the two young Serbians, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

Kournikova says she hasn’t spoken to Martina Hingis, her friend and former doubles partner, about Hingis’ sad exit from the game late last year after a positive cocaine test (a result Hingis disputed) and a return of chronic pain from injury.

“I just know what I read in the press, and as I know, myself, very well, it might be twisted,” Kournikova says. “I really hope everything will work out with her. At the end of the day, she’s a complete legend. She’s achieved so much and I have nothing but respect for her.”

A comeback didn’t seem out of the question for Kournikova as recently as a couple of years ago, and she still won’t completely rule it out, but she says she’s content.

“I sleep very good at night,” she says. “I know where I came from, what I achieved, how hard I’ve worked; I know what kind of results I’ve had. There’s a lot more things I want to achieve and explore and learn. I want to get more educated and grow as a person, but I think I did pretty well with tennis.”

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for She can be reached at

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

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Posted by tennisplanet on April 1, 2008

Well, let’s see what we have here… hi!

I’m Tanya, 32, Russian, a freelance editor and translator. I loved tenns since appr. 1998 (my faves then were Rios and Seles), but I didn’t watch it much then, because there really weren’t much opportunities (GS quarterfinals-finals on tape delay was everything that I was getting in those times). Now I have a satellite dish, a DVR, and I can watch and rewatch to my heart’s content. How the times have changed!

Now I have more faves that I could shake a stick at: Safin, Youzhny, Gasquet, Djokovic, Baghdatis, Gonzalez, Kohlschreiber, Meltzer, Almagro, and probably a few more whom I forgot to mention. On the ladies’ side it’s Henin, Mauresmo and Kuznetsova (sometimes), but I really don’t pay much attention to the women’s game except for the latter stages of Slams. I have to say that I really dislike Nadal and Murray, so you know which grains of salt to take me with.

I have a hubby and a 5-year old son. I used to play tennis, over 10 years back, but don’t anymore, because it’s too expensive over here. Beside tennis, I like reading SF and fantasy (a big fan of Tolkien and George RR Martin). I learn German in my spare time.

I’m not big on movies, but from the latest I liked “Alatriste”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “1418″ and “Assassination of Jesse James”. I agree with Louise that the Bourne movies are fantastic, watched Ultimatum in the theater and was blown away. I hope they’ll do a fourth.

Favourite drink: coffee, tv show: Heroes, colour: green, season: autumn. Favourite person in the world: my son.

So, hi again, nice to meet you, folks!

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