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2006 Tennis-X Blogging Contest

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Postby jamumafa1 on Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:13 am

Strange how none of the X regulars have given the Blog a shot
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Postby tangerine on Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:48 am

Given the demographic reading here, our reaction is often something like, "Oh god, not another article on Sharapova!" Or, "Please, spare me another article about how US commentators are jingoistic."


Indeed. In fact, I dare anybody to write a piece about how "boring" Federer's game is and actually back it up. At least it will be different from the usual "Federer is God, Bow Down to Him, Peon Fans" that we read absolutely everywhere else.

And I'm tempted to go off on a rant about how even more jinogistic the European media is compared to the US media. Anybody got the balls the do that? Easiest target to start with: the BBC...
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Postby ballsfan on Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:16 pm

jamumafa1 wrote:Strange how none of the X regulars have given the Blog a shot


Weird indeed.
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Postby BeerMe on Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:13 pm

i dont write things unless i can say fuck. tennis-x get back to me when i can f'ing blog balls-out. that day will come soon-the beerme blog! that would blow you away, your eyeballs would melt.
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Postby lynnlovestennis on Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:56 pm

I'm already a blogger, but I'm definitely not above throwin' my schizz in the ring if anyone's interested. And if I win, hells, I really could use a career change right about now... plus I loves writing about tennis ta boot. ;)
-------------------------------------------
This post is not going to make me popular. In fact, I’m ready for some reaction.

Now that we’ve seen HawkEye fully in action at the NASDAQ-100, I think it’s time to take a look at a few items with the system. This is not meant to be comprehensive, but an examination of what I see as a couple of the more cogent points of debate. I’m not gonna hit the basic points that have been argued ad naseum last week in Miami.

Instead, I’m also focusing on two ways to improve the game and the calling system. I’m interested in what effects can be brought to the sport, and therefore propose these ideas on what the future of tennis might be in, say, twenty years, if they keep up with technology innovations. Mind you, my ideas might be what management consultants call ‘blue sky’, to which I will reply that there’s nothing wrong with creative thinking.

Finally I've thrown in my top 9 list (was top 8 list, and imagine it will be 20 soon) of improvements the Tours could and should make to help improve the pro game. I think the suggestions are feasible and fair ones.

I’m really interested in hearing what other people think. Hit the comments section and let me know if I’m full of malarkey, or if you’ve got other ideas of how our sport may be improved. I hope this will start an interesting conversation.

Read the rest of this post here.
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Daniel Stern Submission # 5: Sr. Sampras

Postby DStern127 on Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:32 am

Sr. Sampras

Let's recap. Yea Pete Sampras played that exhibition last night against Ginepri. And Sampras was the top pick in the World Team Tennis Draft. On top of that, Pete Sampras was also in the news recently about helping save the day for the Pacific Life Open. Rather interesting, considering Sampras has been as absent from pro tennis since 2002 as a kid with chicken pox from school. Sure, maybe he "missed" the game and was done "trying new things and relaxing." But, why the sudden return?

I might be taking a sour point of view on this, but personally, I think Sampras is back for two reasons: (1)what else does he have to do (yea, he's got kids and yea, he plays golf, but he was a tennis prodigy, and as we all know it's not always simple for these single-minded, driven people to really ever "leave" the game)? and (2)the FEDERER FACTOR!

What do I mean? Well, when Sampras left the game in 2002, it was as if nobody would ever touch him, his record, his fame. His name pretty much was glued to the title of "Best Ever!" And then what happened?

Almost immediately, along comes this Swiss kid (he had beaten Sampras at Wimbledon a bit earlier -- sign of things to come...), a kid who used to have a horrible temper, and a kid who was very inconsistent up to that point, and he takes the game by storm, winning everything in his path (on all surfaces, something Sampras never did), compiling an impecable match record, and matching every record and then sum Pete worked so hard to achieve (thus far in his career).

And oh yea, Federer is VERY likable too -- something that counts a lot in people's minds. He also is a great ambassador for the game.

I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of Pete's. Maybe it's because I'm such a big Andre fan, and Andre would have many more titles and Grand Slams if it weren't for Pete (you could say that about a lot of players though). But, I always felt he was just a huge serve, one that could get him out of a ton of trouble. Sure, he volleyed okay at Wimbledon and once in a blue moon did a Becker-like dive on the grass, and he always brought out his best stuff at the U.S. Open (especially against Andre). But did Pete have the all-around game that Federer had?

Let's do a little comparison.

Take away both Sampras' and Federer's serves and give them Brad Gilbert's serve (sorry Brad). Now who's a better player?

CLEARLY ROGER!

I know that's not a sound argument -- it's all perception. Federer, however, does many many things better than everyone. Sampras did one thing better than everyone -- it just so happened that one thing, his serve, effected everything. On top of that, Federer moves better than Sampras, has a much better backhand , has just as good of a forehand, and a more imposing return of serve.

So back to the main point. Deep down I think a small part of the reason why Sampras is coming back is to get his name back in the conversations and remind people just how good he was. Yet, in 10 years when Federer hangs it up, his record and personality will speak for themselves.

Sorry Pete.
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Postby ballsfan on Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:01 am

winning everything in his path (on all surfaces, something Sampras never did)


Sampras did win on clay let it be one Masters Series like Rome. Federer did win a few Hamburg titles (and Gstaad?!), which is the last evidence he can win the French. He reached the semis there? Well, so did Sampras, losing to eventual winner too.

Looking forward to the clay season when Godfed will play all three Masters Series on clay... ready to laugh hard here.
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It’s About the Feet

Postby pnace on Sat Apr 08, 2006 9:22 pm

My favorite commentator Mary Carillo remarked recently that people forget that tennis is not only a hitting game, it’s a running game. In other words, you gotta get there to make dem shots, and the best players are the ones with the footwork that makes it all possible as well as beautiful. That would be God Rog, Pete, Steffi. At a lower level among the girls, Justine and Amelie. Not included: Roddick, whose feet are wild and messy; Serena Williams, who has always lumbered and pounded rather than danced around the court [truer now that she is, ah, bigger], sister Venus, who specializes/ed more in lunging for the ball, Sharapova, the same, Lindsay, who kind of staggers around, and of course, Seles, whose movement resembled that of Big Bird but had the tenacity to overcome just about anyone she played. My dance teachers used to say they didn’t want to hear our feet. Keep it light. Your feet should fly across the floor. Same idea in tennis. Of course, a lot of it is genetic. If you were born to lumber, there’s only so much you can do to change that, despite all the footwork drills in the world. You do what you can, and if you can get to the top of the tennis world, it’s because you have other talents that compensate.
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Submission #5

Postby CraigP on Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:26 pm

The Family that Steals Together Stays Together

Just ask the world’s newest Katburglars—Katerina Bohmova and her mother, Katerina Bohmova.

The younger Katburglar, a 19-year-old lefty from the Czech Republic with $113,000 in career earnings on the WTA Tour, was arrested April 5 along with her mother outside a Belk department store in Jacksonville, Florida—the day after young Bohmova lost her second round match to Nadia Petrova at the Bausch & Lomb Championships.

A security guard saw the Katburglars remove items from a display rack and enter a dressing room. He then witnessed them leaving the store without paying for approximately $450 in clothing and jewelry hidden in two bags. It turns out the thievery was captured on the store’s video surveillance cameras. So when both women face grand theft charges in a Jacksonville court April 27, they’ll also be facing the surveillance camera’s instant replay.

What does this mean for the professional tennis establishment? Probably not much. But it would behoove them to at least consider a few modest, preventive measures. For example, tournament officials might want to equip championship trophies—especially those made of diamonds, crystal or precious metals—with electronic tracking devices, just in case they’re stolen. Before signing any endorsement deals, Nike, Reebok, Fila, Diadora and other companies will want to conduct more thorough background checks to find out if a player has a criminal history. Likewise, their attorneys certainly will want to ensure that all future endorsement contracts contain a kleptomaniac clause, releasing endorsers of any obligation to fulfill the contract terms if a player is caught shoplifting.

As for young Katburglar herself, tournament security officials might find it prudent to frisk her when she leaves the court—just to make sure she didn’t lift any of the linesmen’s wallets during changeovers. And when chair umpires remind the crowd that mobile telephones should be turned off during play, they should also remind tennis fans that there may be a pair of purse-snatchers/pickpockets lurking about the stands.

Hopefully, the Katburglars will see the error of their ways and return to the path of the straight and narrow. If they’re smart, they’ll recognize that their story has all the makings of a Hollywood hit that could put them on easy street for the rest of their lives. I can see it now—“Bad Czechsâ€
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What's the Dope on Tennis Doping?

Postby lynnlovestennis on Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:58 am

Does it feel like there’s a tennis player popping up in the news once a week embroiled in a doping scandal? Probably because they are.

So, what’s the dope on doping? Why all the scandals, and why all of a sudden?

Recent Scandals

On Monday, the International Tennis Federation banned 23-year old Karol Beck, who has tested positive for a banned substance. His case was originally leaked to the press by Slovak Federation General Secretary Igor Moska who met with reporters a few weeks ago. Moska said he was aware of the positive test last year but he did not say which substance was involved. “I have known about this for quite some time. I believe the substance was taken unknowingly,â€
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Daniel Stern Submission # 5: The Warm Up

Postby DStern127 on Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:34 pm

The Warm Up

It's my least favorite part of a competitive tennis match. It's all about intimidation. It's all about mind games.

Picture this. It's a brisk Saturday morning in South Florida. I'm 10 years old, and I'm waiting to play my first rounder at an event in my hometown. Looking all "professional," I've got my Nike warm-up jacket onm I take a Prince Synergy (my racket at the time) out of my bag and take the court. I'm thinking that I'll ease in to the warm-up, loosen up, and get ready for the match. Unfortunately, my opponent has other ideas. From the first ball, he's swinging for the fences, going for winners, not keeping the ball in play at all. Even when I come up to the net to take some volleys, I'll get one good one, and then I'll be passed. 'What a schmuck!'

Fortunately for me, often times this is just an attempt to intimidate your opponent, and doesn't always translate into the "schmuck" being a good player. And since there usually weren't clocks during junior warm-ups, if I sensed I was playing one of these types, I would extend the warm-up as long as possibly, basically iritating my opponent and letting him wear himself out. I got over it,but the antics sure are annoying.

This actually happens more than you think in the pro game as well. Andre Agassi and Henin-Herdenne are very well known for doing this kind of thing. The next time you watch them in person, or on TV, watch how they come blazing out of the gates, firing on all cylandars. They'll strike the ball as hard as they can and after the rally has gone on for about 8-10 shots they'll change the direction of the ball and drill a winner.

Is it gamesmanship? Probably (seems like Henin-Herdenne's specialty). But at 35, you have to think Agassi is just trying to prove to these kids half his age that he's still got it. He's also hoping that they'll be intimidated enough that they'll play tentatively in the first couple of games while Andre secures an early break.

I like Agassi, but I hated those schmucks!
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Postby Noemi on Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:46 pm

Oh supreme (possibly now human) being that is x-bot:

Do you take late entries???
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Postby tds2711 on Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:48 pm

maybe he does because lynnlovestennis missed the first couple of weeks. so x-bot, is she in the competition? who is still in?
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Postby Noemi on Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:49 pm

Maybe x-bot gets the weekends off *shrug*
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Thoughts on Topspin

Postby pnace on Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:35 pm

Justine lost to Patty Schnyder today at the Family Circle Cup for much the same reason that Roger has trouble with Nadal. That pesky topspin that gets up high can give any player at any level of trouble because it’s anatomically more difficult to generate much power when trying to return a ball that’s way up there. This isn’t always easy to appreciate unless you have a view of the court from eye level and appreciate just how high the ball can get. A televised match doesn’t always let you see it at the right angle. Although extreme topspin is unquestionably a big weapon, it is a physical strain on the body, especially those areas involved in generating the necessary torque, such as the wrist, arm, and hip. Guga is a good example of such a player. He wrecked his hip. Chances are he will never return to his former level, or even play a full schedule again. Big topspin became fashionable before its toll on the body was well understood. Certain coaches still don’t get it. That Nadal is getting injured a lot at a young age bodes ill for his pro career. It also takes much more energy to put topspin on ball after ball than it does to slice the ball or hit it flat.
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