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2006 Tennis-X Blogging Contest

General tennis talk and discussion

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Postby tds2711 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:44 pm

i love mary carillo, but i think she's dead wrong on this one. tennis has been fine all along without video replay. more than anything else (no matter what the ITF, ATP, WTA, USTA say), this move was done for the FANS. everyone should go back and read DStern127s post about HawkEye and how it's going to get the fans involved. that's really what this is all about. FANS -- especially LIVE FANS are loving this. it makes them feel apart of the action.

if there were unlimited replays it would get OLD and it would just become commonplace in the game. as it is now, players have not been using the challenge system to its full extent during the Nasdaq (meaning players arent leaving the court with 0 challenges) and most of the players have been wrong anyway.

fans are what keep tennis alive and this is a perfect way to boost fan interest and participation.
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Postby clarity on Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:44 pm

So far, I think the use of video replay has been a bust. The discussion about it among commentators has been far livelier than its actual use in the game. Also, does it bother anyone else that it's used only on the show courts? It seems to me that that amounts to different players facing different rules.
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Postby tds2711 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:39 pm

the fact that it hasnt caused a contraversy is a good thing -- and the fact that there havent been heinously bad calls at this tournament is another good thing.

and the fact that it's only one one court, well the same could be said for the roof in australia -- it's only on two courts.
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Daniel Stern Submission # 3: Who's On Your Jersey?

Postby DStern127 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:28 pm

Who's On Your Jersey?

The following should read like an advertisement or a press release. Why? Because I’m stoked about this and I already bought two!

Subject: You, you’re a James Blake fan.

Description: You like his style, his personality. You love seeing him play in person.

Event: You pay through the nose and score a ticket off of Ebay for his quarterfinal showdown with RFed in Miami tomorrow (night probably).

Cheering Section: The J-Block didn’t fly to Miami, so you’ve got to be your own cheering squad.

Tools: Signs? Eh, they take too long to make, are cumbersome to carry around, and are no use during play. Noisemakers? Nope – automatic removal from the stadium. So what then? It’s not like team sports where you can just throw on a jersey. Or can you, sorta?

Brand: Nike…


Shop Site: http://niketown.nike.com/niketown/catalog/category.jsp?categoryId=303437#page=3,viewAll=FALSE,howMany=9

Whoever the tennis product brand manager at Nike is, he/she may have struck gold and/or started a new fan trend – player “Jerseysâ€
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Postby jaypatrick on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:28 pm

I am a huge Maria Sharapova fan, but sometimes the hype is even a little much for me. So, I decided to break into IMG to uncover any documents they had on the true story of Maria. The results were shocking.

From the IMG Fairy Tale Collection

Once upon a time, there was young girl named Masha. She was born in a manger on a blustery day in Siberia. Growing up, her parents were very poor, but her pa hunted for their food and there was always a plentiful supply of venison. Although they lived in a shoe, her ma made sure Masha had warm blankets for her hideaway bed that slid out from underneath her parents’.

One day, Masha and her pa were making the 12-mile trek to the general store in their snowshoes. Masha looked down at the shoes they were wearing, and wondered where they had gotten them. Pa explained that he used to play a game called tennis, but he had to sell his membership to an evil ruler named Spartek, who had taken over Russian tennis with his equally evil queen Safina. Masha frowned, thinking this was unfair.

Showing unusual mental toughness for someone her age, Masha began training and dreaming of a day when she could play tennis out of the snow. Pa saved money by trading with the Indians. Eventually, they saved enough, and sailed on a huge ship to The Land of Wasted Opportunities (America!).

Masha’s ma could not make the trip, and her pa was not allowed to stay in the dorms at the tennis academy she joined. So, Pa slept in a burrow once inhabited by a large dinosaur. Pa surmised it had not been long since the reptile had left. A layer of tanned skin and stationary that read, “From the desk of N. Bolleterrasaurusâ€
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Postby tds2711 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:35 pm

sorry jaypatrick -- i liked you before, but that is the most awful thing i have ever read. what was the point of that?
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Postby tds2711 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:38 pm

very cool DStern -- i'll have to check those out. i didnt know those existed.
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Postby jaypatrick on Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:26 am

The point was that even as a Sharapova fan, I get sick of the fairy tale story myself-hence, the farce that embellished on the story. If you watched the Myskina match last night, they repeated most of this same story again. If you didn't like it, that is completely okay. To avoid more of the same, simply skip over my post next time. Most of my posts will be similarly unconventional, and apparently some of the worst things you'll ever read! Mwahahaha.
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Daniel Stern Submission # 4: Sharapova the Line?

Postby DStern127 on Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:39 pm

Sharapova the Line?

Maria Sharapova has a tough fight coming up on Saturday afternoon in Miami – and I'm not talking about her upcoming battle with Russia 's Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals of the Nasdaq-100 Open. Sharapova managed to turn what was a fairly docile crowd at the start of her match against France's Tatiana Golovin firmly against her in what was unarguably the best match of the tournament.

Sharpova's antics started after Golovin came back from 5-1 down in the second set and saved a handful of match points with some great gets and booming forehands to get back on serve at 5-4. With Golovin set to serve for 5 all, Sharapova requested a "bathroom break" (read: momentum break). After being told by chair umpire Lynne Welsh that she'd have to wait until her serve at 5 all, Sharapova insisted she "couldn't hold it" and was allowed to leave the court. After Sharapova returned to center court to a smattering of boo's from the Miami crowed, Golovin held comfortably and continued pounding forehands to take the second set in a tiebreak.

Five minutes after leaving the court a first time, Sharapova incredibly requested to leave the court again, returning to center court well after the five minutes allotted by tour policy. This time, upon returning, Sharapova was greeted by an entire stadium's boos for what was clearly gamesmanship.

Both players had chances early in the third set, with Sharapova managing to go up a break after a poor service game from Golovin. But with Sharapova serving at 4-3 in the third on break point for Golovin, the Frenchwoman went over her ankle chasing down a Sharapova forehand. Golovin's ankle injury looked so painful that commentator Cliff Drysdale requested that they only show the replay once.

How did Sharapova respond? She didn't. With her opponent in tears lying on the baseline, Sharapova proceeded to take phantom swings with her racket and bounce up and down at the far end of the court like a robot. Even ESPN's sickeningly pro-Sharapova commentary team of Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Brad Gilbert expressed their disappointment with Sharapova's lack of tact.

Upon receiving treatment from the tour trainer, Golovin admirably attempted to play on. Unable to put weight on her ankle, she was forced to concede the match after playing only one point.

After the match, it appeared as though Sharapova was afraid to leave the court without Golovin, knowing she would have inevitably received a showering of boos from the partisan Miami crowd had she walked off the court without the cover of applause for the Frenchwoman. While Sharapova may have survived this match, it's clear she lost the respect and support of the Miami crowd and fans tuned in to the match around the world.
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Making It Look Easy

Postby pnace on Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:47 pm

The greatest make it look easy, whether it’s art or sport. Pete – the smooth, seamless serve and the elasticity of his movement; and now Roger – his remarkable coordination, the lightness of his feet, a certain lyrical quality and ease of motion, a combination more typical of a great dancer rather than an athlete. The greats never look like they’re working very hard [even if they are] or sweating much. Both Pete and Roger have been accused [by those who don’t know any better] of having boring games. But in simple terms, Pete killed with a cannonball, while Roger does it with a fine scalpel. Really, how would you rather die?
Pete used to complain about being underappreciated and how everyone expected him to win everything. It was because he made it look so easy, though of course it wasn’t easy at all and took its toll on him. God Rog [as in GOD, Rog, how did you do THAT??] invents new shots every time he plays, but he certainly doesn’t take his titles for granted. And he works hard to keep improving his game and fitness.
Then there are players called grinders because that’s how they win; you can always tell they’re working hard. Think Courier, Agassi, now Roddick, Hewitt, Nadal, the Spanish boys. Baseliners who look and sound like they expend a lot of energy because they do exactly that. Lots of grunting and sweating and emotion and long, hard points. Some fans relate better to these guys; they seem more human, like working men.
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Postby Kevin on Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:55 am

Far be it from me to complain about the bloggers, but I will, anyway.

One suggestion: you guys seem to point out the obvious. For instance, you give match reports, or you explain the difference between Sampras and Fed.

But everyone reading your blog right now is pretty much a bonafide tennis afficiando. Considering your audience, you're only rehashing old info.

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."

Regardless of how well you write, these topics have just been flogged to death among tennis writers and other board participants. I can't speak for others, but I can't summon the slightest motivation to read them. I just don't care. Some subjects are just so saturated in the media that their novelty left the building a long time ago. And now the readers are exiting, too.

I think a key to blogging is to find something unique to write about. Develop a special niche that you can become an expert on discussing. People will want to read you if they expect you to talk about something new and different. Even if your opinion is wack and your conclusions are flawed, we'll forgive you because you've got original material that we don't get elsehwere.

This might not be at all what tennis-x is looking for. But I imagine it's what tennis-x readers actually want. The casual tennis fan does not find and then stay with tennis-x. The base here is pretty hardcore. That makes us a very tough audience to please.

Sorry the standards are so high and finicky, but I think that's just the way it goes, for better or worse.
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Postby ccm on Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:40 pm

totally agree with Kevin. more original viewpoints, more developed writing styles. and a blog usually provides commentary on what's happening right now, rather than being an "ode to federer" or "serena needs to focus" column i've already read in 100 places. a year ago.

here are blogs that know what they're doing, just to help get you in the mood:
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Miami Musings

Postby passingshots on Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:39 pm

Miami Musings

Congratulations to Svetlana Kuznetsova. Her first Tier I title was long in coming, but based on her performances in her last two matches, well deserved. Too bad the people shopping in New York still aren’t going to have a clue what her name is.

How good is Roger Federer? So good that he can play the final of a Masters Series as if he were still asleep (maybe he forgot to change his clocks this weekend?), and still win in straight sets.

Ivan Ljubicic thinks he’s playing like the no. 2 in the world right now. Sorry Ivan, but until you beat Federer, Rafael Nadal still deserves the no. 2 spot, hands down. But after pummeling David Nalbandian in the semifinals, it’s hard to argue that Ljubicic shouldn’t be ranked no. 3.

Andy Roddick’s struggles continue, and the bad news for him is that he’s going to be seeing a lot of red for the next two months (red clay that is). You could write a book about Roddick’s problems right now (but who would read it?).

How is it possible that Tim Henman could beat multiple Grand Slam champions Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt back-to-back, and then lose to some guy named Simon Greul in the next round? What does this say about Henman right now? Better yet, what does this say about Safin and Hewitt right now?

The bad news for the ’05 French Open Champions Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin-Hardenne: neither won a match in Miami this year. The good news: they get a couple extra weeks to prepare for the clay season, where they both have a boatload of points to defend.

Maria Sharapova is one cold, uncaring you-know-what. I’m sure I don’t need to summarize again what happened against Tatiana Golovin in the semis. I’ll just say this: her actions just lend credence to the theory that she is not in fact a person, but a genetically engineered humanoid created on an island not far from the Bollettieri Tennis Academy. At this rate, Maria may surpass Justine Henin-Hardenne in the little known Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Most Disrespected Player Race. At least Justine is fun to watch, and doesn’t make me want to stab skewers in my ears. However, we won’t get to see (or should I say hear) Maria for a while, as she is devoting several weeks to fulfilling sponsorship commitments. Rumor has it that Detrol LA and Depends are looking to get her on board.

But after all that Maria trashing, I have to say “bravoâ€
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Submission #4

Postby CraigP on Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:13 pm

An Exclusive Interview: Sam Querrey Talks about His Game, His Future, and His Transition to the ATP Tour

Like most 18-year-olds, Sam Querrey may not know what his future holds.

But he knows where he wants to go, and what he needs to do to get there.

Touted by some as a rising star in American men’s tennis, Querrey gave me 30 minutes of his time the day before his departure for Long Beach to practice with the U.S. Davis Cup Team.

At 6’6â€
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Postby BeerMe on Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:42 am

nice querry interview.
no more reviews of who won and lost in miami
"Leela: Your face can take a lot of punishment. That’s good to know.
Fry: There’s a lot about my face you don’t know."
-- Futurama
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