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Archive for the ‘ATP’ Category

Going Loco in Acapulco. Seriously.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 18, 2011

The ATP has reportedly warned players about next week’s tournament in Acapulco, where recent killing sprees have been linked to organised crime.

‘The ATP’s warnings caused a little fear,’ Uruguayan player Pablo Cuevas told the German Press Agency dpa in Buenos Aires.

[…] The ATP asked players, among others, to get to the tournament as late as possible and to leave Acapulco as soon as they can once they are out of the running, Cuevas said.

‘I’ve been hearing a bit about the situation in Acapulco. The ATP informed us by sending us several emails. They acted quite well on that,’ Argentine player Juan Monaco told dpa.

‘They told us that there were problems, that things were not easy there because there have been several kidnappings, murders and that kind of stuff,’ Monaco said.

The Pacific resort city of Acapulco, like other Mexican cities and towns, is frequently the scene of murders and shootouts between rival drug gangs who seek domination of the area to control drug trafficking.

Cuevas noted that he knew of several players who opted out of the tournament.

‘Those who had doubts as to whether or not to go, that was a reason to opt out,’ he said.

Monaco said the ATP advised players to remain as much as possible in the hotel where they are to stay and to play their matches.

‘They told us not to go out,’ he said.

source

Worrying stuff. I’m sure everybody will be fine, but it’s good to see the ATP taking steps to ensure the safety of their people.

Posted in acapulco, ATP | 3 Comments »

Another Excuse to Drink Beer

Posted by gauloises1 on February 22, 2010

So last time I bought a phone, I actually went for a Sony Ericsson because I had a vague idea that somehow buying it meant that I was supporting the WTA. In that vein, look for me to be found in ditches covered in dried-up lime wedges a lot in the coming years. More than usual, that is. Because Corona, the Mexican beer, has just become the ATP’s new premier sponsor.

It’s a five and a half year deal which will see Corona branding become the most visible at ATP events (like Mercedez-Benz used to be. Remember that?). Of course, those were cars and not, you know … beer.

Adam Helfant, the ATP’s chairman and president, said last night: “Beers have been associated with different sports before. This is nothing new, and we are happy that it is a great fit both for the company and the tour. Corona’s motto is ‘relax responsibly’ and we are very pleased with the nature of our conversations with their representatives. They will bring an exciting new creativity and marketing experience to the game.”

source

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand … this. On the other hand, I can’t help but have a vague hope that it will lead to somehow more free beer in my life. Conundrum.

The ATP’s finest approve this deal.

Posted in ATP, fernando gonzalez, gael monfils | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Tennis World Cup?

Posted by gauloises1 on January 14, 2010

People are scurrying to weigh in on the virtues of the proposed Tennis World Cup, the brainchild of Australian sports consultancy group gemba. The new biennial tournament has already been proposed to players and various interest groups including the LTA, Tennis Australia and the USTA.

Basically, it would be a 32-nation field in round-robin groups of four, with 16 nations progressing to the knockout stage and various other gimmicks alterations to the rules:

Where the concept is truly bold and innovative is that teams would consist of three players and a captain and in each of the single best-of-five-set matches that would decide each tie, at least two players would compete, with one player having to play a minimum of six games.

Thus, if Switzerland met Spain, one or either of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would have to be substituted at some stage, making the role of the captain far more relevant than the banana-peeling, “whisper a few words in the ear at changeovers” role of the present Davis Cup captain.

The no-advantage rule that has been such a success in doubles on the ATP Tour would be replicated in the World Cup and there would be a strictly enforced 25sec gap between points — a clock would be placed on the court so the spectators could see for themselves that the rule was not being flouted, unlike the present situation in which the umpire keeps a check but often overlooks 35 or 40sec gaps in play.

If any set went to a tie-break, it would be decided by the first to five points, with no requirement for a two-point gap. It is believed that no match would last longer than 2½ hours.

The speeding-up of the game and potential controversies as captains alternate their players are among the elements that will appeal to TV companies that are frustrated by the indeterminate length of matches and the youngsters whose attention span is notoriously fickle and who will be more inclined to pick up a racket and play.

The gemba agency will be meeting with ATP president CEO and Adam Helfant next week, but in the meantime, the players are clearly interested in the idea, seeing a way to make their schedules infinitely more manageable while still having the opportunity to represent their country.

Nole:

“It [the World Cup] is all very fresh and it is all ideas,” he said. “Nothing has been decided. We didn’t decide to put anything on official terms because we have to consider other sides as well. But the main point is that we are trying to make the sport improve and players are the most important.

“I can’t give you too much information because we have to discuss it [in the next two weeks]. Considering the present schedule, which is very busy, something will be sacrificed, but what tournaments, what country, we still don’t know.

“The only thing that I can say is that I’m happy that all the top players are willing to participate in these talks and try to contribute and fight for their own right.”

Nadal:

As he glanced at the World Cup proposals, Nadal said: “Yes, I like it.” When it was mentioned to the Spaniard that the rules would include a strictly enforced 25 seconds between points, one of the game’s notoriously slow players added with a smile: “Perhaps I don’t like it that much.”

Murray:

“I am a great fan of the Davis Cup, but if a decision was taken to drop it, or something else could change in the calendar, then a World Cup is a fascinating idea,” Murray told The Times yesterday.

Ljubicic:

“You see the top guys are not able to play all the matches that they would love to play for their nation,” Ljubicic said.

“It is sad. It is because the format is just not good, it is not suited for the players at the moment. Our sport is not going forward, so you have to change something about it.”

Larry Stefanki, Andy Roddick’s coach, said such a concept is ‘what tennis needs’. The only people who seem less than keen are Lleyton Hewitt and the ITF, damning its ‘timely branding‘ with faint praise (and noting they have a five-year contract with the ATP guaranteeing dates and ranking points).

The obvious analogy is with Twenty20 cricket – already elaborated by Neil Harman – and when you look at it that way, the idea does have some things to recommend it, making nation-on-nation competitive tennis more focused and accessible to the casual viewer. You can’t be bored during Twenty20, no matter how little you know or indeed care about cricket, and it sounds like you wouldn’t even have time to catch your breath during this event.

On the other hand,  I’m suspicious of any plan to change the sport which has at its heart a cynical attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Not to mention that one of the great things about Davis Cup is that it routinely brings top-level tennis to places that would never normally get it – and frequently produces the sort of one-on-one five-set marathon contests of courage and will that this format would preclude.

What do you guys think?

Posted in ATP, davis cup | 1 Comment »

Adidas 2010 Fashion Disasters: Sneak Preview

Posted by gauloises1 on November 19, 2009

So apparently these are some of the ensembles we can look forward to next year.

To be rocked by Gilles, Gonzo, Ernie and so forth.

They’re going to be putting Pico in this.

PICO.

And Jo will be wearing the colour of acidic bile.

Posted in ATP, fernando verdasco, jo-wilfried tsonga | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

Umpires Uncovered. Sadly Not Literally.

Posted by gauloises1 on October 23, 2009

I’d be the first to admit I can have a bit of a Freudian thing about men in positions of authority. It’s kind of a whole Captain Hook issue. But seriously, Carlos Bernades? I would hit that.

Oh, right, the video.

Posted in ATP, video | 4 Comments »

Swedish Hooker Scandals? Oh Tennis, You Shouldn’t Have.

Posted by gauloises1 on October 19, 2009

Nothing livens up the end of the season like a good old-fashioned vice scandal. Reportedly, two players competing in the Stockholm Open are under investigation for solicitation. Is it wrong that I find this really amusing? Probably.

The bare bones of the thing (via the AP) is that two ATP players were detained by police when they entered their hotel early Sunday accompanied by two women, and taken in for questioning. Both players were foreign citizens and set to compete in the tournament. A spokesman for the tournament has said it won’t stop them competing.

According to Jonas Trolle, the head of the investigation, a prosecutor has issued a ‘summary punishment’, which basically involves avoiding trial by signing a confession.

So far, so reliable. However, if you would like some speculation, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet gives more details, claiming that one of the players is a well-known figure on the ATP tour and has refused to speak to the media. According to the same source, the women the players picked up were in fact plainclothes police officers (in heels, no less). Which is just unlucky.

Conflicting (and unsourceable) reports claim that only one of the men was actually competing in the Stockholm Open, and has been fined 2,500 kroner for the offence. (That doesn’t seem like a lot.)

And if you’d like even more speculation, reportedly Swedish television is mentioning the names of Grigor Dimitrov and Thomaz Bellucci …

So, who’s up for a little game of ‘guess the john’? Stockholm draw here ….

Posted in ATP, stockholm | 13 Comments »

Shanghai: Determined Davydenko Defeats Saucy Success-Seeking Spaniard

Posted by irefusetotellyou on October 18, 2009

I don’t have much match analysis to contribute (erm … do I ever?), especially as I’m watching a replay of the match RIGHT NOW, and it just began.

Anyway, Nikolay Davydenko beat Rafa Nadal 7-6(3), 6-3 to win the Masters 1000 and his 4th ATP title of the year.

From what I’ve seen of the match so far, Nadal didn’t play badly–although he did have the opportunity for a set point in the 1st set–he just couldn’t keep up with Kolya. Kolya was moving well, returning aggressively, and slamming amazing angles cross-court. All I can say is: YOWZA! A well-deserved win for Mr. Davydenko, indeed.

In lieu of any substantive post-match analysis, please just accept these pictures and be thankful that Gaul is coming back soon:

Posted in ATP, nikolay davydenko, rafael nadal, shanghai | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Shanghai: Another One Bites the Dust

Posted by irefusetotellyou on October 17, 2009

[Note: Fortunately and/or unfortunately for you all, I’ll be posting sporadically while Gaul is on her well-deserved mini-break. Last I heard she was planning on jetsetting over to some mysterious South American country to tend to some tall guy’s right wrist, but … that’s just speculation. –IRRTY]

Whew. Well, a lot happened today. Or yesterday. Or whenever. (I don’t deal too well with this wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff.)

First off: London-hopeful and perpetual under-the-radar-man Nikolay Davydenko beat Radek Stepanek 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Kolya was able to convert 6 out of 14 break points in his quest to win his 4th ATP title of the year.

If Kolya is able to win on Saturday, he’ll jump 2 spots to No. 7, thus capturing a spot in London in November. Says the always-practical Kolya of this prospect as well as his upcoming semifinal match: “If I win I always have more points, but tomorrow I don’t need think about that. … If I win, is good. If not, bad luck.” 

 

In the next match of the day, Novak Djokovic beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Evidently there was a bit of this:

Then some of this:

But, in the end, it was this:

 

In my personal “Wha?!” moment of the day, Feliciano Lopez beat Robin Soderling 7-6(4), 6-3. FeLo did have a 3-2 record against RobSod coming into this match, but I was nevertheless a bit disappointed that RobSod couldn’t pull through. I guess FeLo’s new cropped hair/manicured beard will live to see the camera tennis court another day.

 

Finally, Rafael Nadal won 6-3, 3-6 against Ivan Ljubicic after Ljuby retired, citing his left hip. A rather unfortunate end for Ljubicic, who had been playing really well in this tournament. Get better soon, old man.

 

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d I Ljubicic (CRO) 36 63 ret. (left hip)
[2] N Djokovic (SRB) d [8] G Simon (FRA) 63 26 62
[6] N Davydenko (RUS) d [13] R Stepanek (CZE) 61 46 61
F Lopez (ESP) d [9] R Soderling (SWE) 76(4) 63

Doubles – Semi-finals
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d [3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) 76(2) 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d [5] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) 46 76(6) 10-6

Posted in ATP, feliciano lopez, ivan ljubicic, nikolay davydenko, novak djokovic, radek stepanek, rafael nadal, robin soderling, shanghai, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

‘Tis the Season to Complain About the Season

Posted by gauloises1 on October 13, 2009

Both Andy Roddick and Rafa Nadal had a bit to say today about the length of the season, with the women finishing on November 2nd while the men go on for another three weeks (plus Davis Cup final for those involved).

“It’s impossible to play 1st of January and finish 5th of December,” said the 23-year-old Nadal, who did not defend his title at Wimbledon because of a knee injury. “It’s impossible to be here playing like what I did the last five years, playing a lot of matches and being all the time 100 percent without problems.”

Roddick, a veteran at 27, said players need a longer offseason to recover, and noted that both Roger Federer (fatigue) and Andy Murray (wrist injury) are skipping the Shanghai tournament.

“It’s ridiculous to think that you have a professional sport that doesn’t have a legitimate offseason to rest, get healthy, and then train,” Roddick said. “I just feel sooner or later that common sense has to prevail.”

source

They have a point, but how do you fix it? It’s not like tournaments are going to volunteer to be made obsolete. The Times goes into a bit more:

Roddick said: “That [a strike] is the last thing that anyone wants to do but you get pushed against a wall. I don’t think any of us wants to do that, because even more so than feeling a responsibility to the powers that be in tennis, we feel a responsibility to the fans and we don’t want to alienate them. I think that’s why we’ve put up with it as long as we have.” […]

“I can tell you that six weeks is simply not enough time to recover from the excesses of a season,” he said. “We played almost 11 months, we have a solid block of mandated events, we have to play four of the 500 [the number of ranking points on offer] tournaments, the demands are getting harder.

“Heck, I’d just like a couple of weeks in a year when I could overdose on burritos, but I have to watch what I do probably more closely than most players, I train like a dog and when I’m out there, I kill myself to win.”

Roddick, radically, says that he could save a fortnight in the season off the top of his head, involving a later start to the Indian Wells Masters in California in March, with a Monday finish to avoid a clash with college basketball and therefore enhance television ratings, and an immediate start to the next Masters event in Miami. The second opportunity would be for there to be no gap between the final Masters 1000 event of the year in Paris and the finals in London, which start on November 22. “We are all just going to be kicking our heels in London for a week,” he said.

source

Clearly, what the situation needs is someone to get in there and bang some heads together. I nominate Gene Hunt.

Posted in andy roddick, ATP | 13 Comments »

*Mumble Mumble* Shanghai

Posted by gauloises1 on September 16, 2009

The players promoting the new Shanghai Masters:

I think my favourite part is how they get steadily less enthusiastic. But it’s so cute at the end.

Posted in ATP, shanghai | 5 Comments »