Posted by gauloises1 on February 4, 2011
Great Britain’s Fed Cup team, led by mini powerhouse Heather Watson, have successfully avoided becoming any worse at Fed Cup. Hooray!
Team GB faced Denmark today in a bid to avoid a relegation play-off in the Europe/Africa Group I tie in Eilat. Both teams had lost to Switzerland (led by Patty Schnyder and Timea Bacsinszky), so the loser of this tie had to face a relegation play-off. Amazingly, said team is not Great Britain. After Anne Keothavong lost to Wozniacki 60 62, Watson came back to beat Karen Barbat (no. 543), and then Watson teamed up with Jocelyn Rae to beat Wozniacki and her compatriot Mai Grage 57 75 75 in the deciding doubles – during which, apparently, Watson managed to hit Wozniacki rather hard in the eye, incurring an MTO. UPDATE: courtesy of Miss Wozniacki’s own twitter, there is video here.
Fortunately Wozniacki’s main concern as expressed via twitter seems to be the possibility of a black eye, so I think we can assume she’s OK. Unfortunately Serena is on the case. I hope our Heather doesn’t get a bad rep for this one.
You can catch up on the full results so far from Eilat here. As I understand it, Switzerland will take on the Netherlands, and Poland will take on Belarus in the semi-finals. (Thanks Christina.)
Posted in british tennis, caroline wozniacki, fed cup, heather watson | Tagged: heather watson | 3 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on July 6, 2010
Congratulations to the other champions from Wimbledon 2010. It’s been an amazing fortnight for all sorts of people.
Mixed Doubles: Paes/Black d. Moodie/Raymond, 64 76(5)
I watched them lose last year, so this pleases.
Ladies’ Doubles: Shvedova/King d. Vesnina/Zvonareva, 76(6) 62
Tough day for Vera, but these two are adorable.
And my favourite team of the year …
Gentlemen’s Doubles: Petzschner/Melzer d. Lindstedt/Tecau, 61 75 75
To quote Petzsch, “I’ve fcking won wimbledon!omg.”
And among the juniors …
Boys’ Singles: Marton Fucsovics d. Benjamin Mitchell, 64 64
Fucsovics? Yes please. Also delighted to see he’s carrying on the tradition of boys’ singles winners being cute as a little pie.
Girls’ Singles: Kristyna Pliskova d. Sachie Ishizu, 63 46 64
The Czech Republic = the new Serbia?
And a quartet of tiny Tims …
Boys’ Doubles: Tom Farquharson/Liam Broady d. Lewis Burton/George Morgan
I nominate all four to the GBR Davis Cup squad, effective immediately.
Posted in benjamin mitchell, british tennis, cara black, jurgen melzer, kristyna pliskovic, leander paes, liam broady, marton fucsovics, philipp petzchner, sachie ishizu, titlists, tom farquharson, vania king, wimbledon, yaroslava shvedova | Tagged: benjamin mitchell, cara black, george morgan, jurgen melzer, kristyna pliskova, leander paes, lewis burton, liam broady, marton fucsovics, philipp petzschner, sachie ishizu, tom farquharson, vania king, yaroslava shvedova | 13 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on April 12, 2010
In news that surprises nobody, the LTA has announced the appointment of Leon Smith to succeed John Lloyd as captain of Great Britain’s Davis Cup team.
“This is a huge honour and an irresistible challenge for me,” said Leon. “I know the players, and I know that together we can get Britain back to winning ways in the Davis Cup.”
He reportedly added, ‘You know what? This poisoned chalice is really shiny.’
Smith is best known, in the highly specialised sense of those words that mean ‘not really known at all’, for having coached Andy Murray as a young teenager. For the last two years, he’s been the LTA Head of Player Development for men’s tennis. So a proven track record of success there.
You know, I have nothing against Leon Smith, and if he can make something of the resources he’s got available to him Davis Cup-wise, then so be it. Honestly, I wish him the best of luck. But really, is this what we’ve come to? I can understand the arguments against appointing a ‘celebrity’ coach (bless you for trying, Greg, and congratulations on staying well clear, Tim), but are you seriously telling me that after those two, the best we could come up with is someone who’s not only never represented his country, but who’s never played professional tennis on any level? I’m sorry, but shepherding a talented adolescent like Andy Murray through four years doesn’t seem to qualify you for this job. And what other world-class players has he worked with? Top 50 players? Top 100?
Not to mention the hiatus between the announcement being ‘leaked’ and confirmed. Are the LTA actually doing things now based on trying to avoid the censure of the media? Good luck with that, Draper.
You know, I don’t want to do this any more. I don’t want to be this bitter, cranky, negative person. Well, I sort of do, but I don’t want to mean it. Why do you have to do this to me, British tennis? Why? Why?!
Urgh. I’m going to look at pictures of bunnies for a bit.
Posted in british tennis, davis cup | Tagged: leon smith | 2 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on April 6, 2010
… almost ten minutes after we had the last one. I mean, first we lost to Lithuania. Then John Lloyd resigned as Davis Cup captain (hanging on just long enough to make financial arrangements) and almost immediately started calling out Andy Murray for not playing enough. Now the LTA’s manifold failings are the subject of an enquiry by MPs, and our players are criminals. Not even kidding.
Dan Evans, Davis Cup failure and the seventh ranked British player, is being questioned by police following an alleged sexual assault in Bath. Apparently the victim was talking to two men after leaving a nightclub on March 19th before she was pushed on to a discarded mattress and sexually assaulted. Avon and Somerset Police issued a photo of three men believed to have information, one of whom has been identified as Evans. The other two are also believed to be tennis players.
Evans is ‘fully co-operating’ and the LTA has declined to comment.
Yeah. Not funny.
(via The Times)
Posted in british tennis, dan evans | 4 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on March 8, 2010
Remember when I said that Team GB were going to lose to Lithuania and the nation would be forced to kill ourselves from shame? Well, we did lose to Lithuania, 3-2.
That’s Ricardas Berankis. He beats Tims.
I’m too depressed to even go into this. I refer you to the Times for all your breast-beating/gloating needs, and will say just two things: 1) well done to the Lithuanians, who were really impressive the whole weekend and showed all the heart (there’s that word again) that British tennis lacks, and 2) is there any chance, even a tiny one, that right now plans are being hatched at LTA headquarters to lock Dan Evans in a room with a tennis racquet and expect him to do the honourable thing (i.e. beat himself to death)?
Now I feel bad. But not that bad.
Actually, that’s not fair to Dan Evans. OK, he came up short – again – this time against an opponent younger and far lower-ranked than him, who has yet to play an ATP match, and who has presumably enjoyed a fraction of the financial support and expert attention that has been lavished on Evans, but .,. why was I feeling sorry for him again?
Oh yeah. Failure on this grand a scale belongs to more than one individual. It isn’t Evans’, isn’t Ward’s, isn’t Murray’s for not playing (I still think he made exactly the right decision) and isn’t John Lloyd’s (who has to be feeling pretty nervous now that GB have lost five ties in a row). Something is rotten in Roehampton and unless the LTA makes drastic changes to the way that things are run (and the people they are run by), this will just keep on happening. I just wish I could believe that a loss this humiliating will change anything apart from the identity of the latest scapegoat.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Great Britain now face a relegation play-off against Turkey in July.
Posted in british tennis, dan evans, davis cup, ricardas berankis | Tagged: dan evans, ricardas berankis | 1 Comment »
Posted by gauloises1 on March 3, 2010
So I haven’t talked a lot about Great Britain’s upcoming Europe/Africa Zone II or whatever tie with Lithuania in Vilnius. And you know why? Because we’re going to lose. Seriously. We are going to lose to Lithuania.
The British team – James Ward, Dan Evans, Ken Skupski and Colim Fleming – have never won a single Davis Cup rubber. Flemski get a partial pass on the basis that they haven’t played one, but god only knows what Dan Evans’ excuse is. For existing.
Meanwhile, they’ll be facing a Lithuanian team whose average age is 17.
And who will be led by Ricardas Berankis, who recently made the quarters in San Jose and according to tennistical experts we should all fear.
And they’re all cuter than our guys (except the hot half of Flemski and, possibly, John Lloyd).
We’re going to lose. We’re going to lose and then we’re going to die of shame. Just a heads-up.
Posted in british tennis, davis cup, ricardas berankis | Tagged: dovydas sakinis, laurynas grigelis, ricardas berankis | 2 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on February 25, 2010
This is not even a tribute. Robert Dee, a British man who allegedly plays tennis for a living, is sueing the Daily Telegraph for describing him as ‘the worst tennis pro in the world’.
The offending stories said Dee did not win a single match during his first three years on the professional circuit but finally ended this “dismal run” by beating an unranked 17-year-old in Spain in April 2008. One article, claiming Dee had lost 54 matches in a row, compared him to the ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards and Eric the Eel, the Equatorial Guinea swimmer who struggled at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Dee argues that the reports suggested “that he unreasonably and unrealistically persists in a career as a professional tennis player which is an expensive waste of money and doomed to failure”.
He admits he indeed lost 54 successive matches in international contests, but claims that over the same period he played in professional national tournaments in Spain with “modest success”. To suggest he had suffered “an unrelieved catalogue of failure” was untrue and defamatory.
The Telegraph articles not only ridiculed and embarrassed Dee, but could deter people from employing him as a professional coach, said his barrister, Andrew Caldecott QC.
In court the Telegraph continued to insist that Dee did indeed hold the dubious honour of having had the world’s worst losing run in professional tennis. A Guatemalan player had also lost 54 consecutive matches, but unlike Dee, had once managed to actually win a set, said David Price, for the Telegraph. Dee, on the other hand, lost 108 sets in a row.
My favourite part about this story is definitely the fact that John Lloyd, a.k.a the British Davis Cup captain, may be called as a witness by the Telegraph. Because, you know, he’s got nothing better to do this week.
*files under ‘British tennis’*
Posted in british tennis | 1 Comment »
Posted by gauloises1 on February 9, 2010
Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain, teddybear John Lloyd, has named the squad for the upcoming tie with Lithuania at the beginning of March: alleged singles players James Ward, Dan Evans, and Jamie Baker, accompanied by actual doubles players Colin Fleming, Ken Skupski and Ross Hutchins.
I’m pleased that Flemski got the nod and hope that they actually get a chance to play – while at the same time being sceptical about the personal impact of placing them in the squad. Great Britain hasn’t won a Davis Cup tie since 2007 against Croatia, and failure is catching, you know.
British no. 2 Alex Bogdanovic was thankfully bypassed (he is, I believe, 1 for 14 in Davis Cup matches). Jamie Baker, by the way, is the only singles player on the team to have won a Davis Cup rubber, and James Ward has never played one. Oh yes, this is going to go well. What’s lower than the Europe/Africas Zone II?
Posted in british tennis, colin fleming, davis cup, ken skupski | Tagged: colin fleming, ken skupski | 1 Comment »
Posted by gauloises1 on February 2, 2010
I don’t know if it is a slow tennis news day or I just feel like it is because there are no new Marin/Gorin photos. Anyway, the draw was made today for the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 Playoffs in Lisbon:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tough draw for Team GB, as Belarus (Azarenka/Govortsova) are probably one of the toughest teams out there. Still, if you think about the players that are there, this must be an amazing tournament to attend. You can follow naughtyT on twitter as he uses his ill-gotten press credentials to stalk the players in between mojitos if you like, or just follow along with the burgeoning estromance between Wozniacki and Azarenka. Or just glumly wish you were there, like me.
Anyway. Go Team GB!
(via Elena Baltacha’s twitter)
Posted in anne keothavong, british tennis, elena baltacha, fed cup, katie o'brien, sarah borwell | Tagged: anne keothavong, elena baltacha, katie o'brien, sarah borwell | 4 Comments »
Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010
Team GB hitting the practice courts in Perth in preparation for the Hopman Cup:
Sorry for the overload of very similar photoage, but in this long and freezing winter, these two are warming what passes for my heart.
Oh, and one more:
I say he’s hot, damnit.
Team GB will be hitting the courts against Kazkhstan in the first night session, starting 5.30 p.m. local time. The day session is Russia vs. Germany (Dementieva/Andreev vs. Licky/Kohlschreiber). Fun!
Posted in andy murray, british tennis, hopman cup, laura robson | Tagged: andy murray, laura robson | 15 Comments »