New Balls, Please

"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

  • Recent Posts

  • Unhealthily Obsessed With

    agnieszka radwanska alize cornet amelie mauresmo ana ivanovic andy murray andy roddick aravane rezai ATP ATP week ahead australian open beijing belgrade british tennis bstaad caroline wozniacki cincinnati daniela hantuchova david ferrer david nalbandian davis cup dinara safina doha dubai elena dementieva ernests gulbis estoril fed cup feliciano lopez fernando gonzalez fernando verdasco flavia pennetta francesca schiavone french open gael monfils gilles simon image is everything indian wells jelena jankovic jo-wilfried tsonga john isner juan carlos ferrero juan martin del potro juan monaco julien benneteau justine henin kim clijsters kuala lumpur li na lleyton hewitt los angeles madrid marat safin marcos baghdatis maria kirilenko maria sharapova marin cilic marion bartoli melanie oudin miami mikhail youzhny montreal munich nikolay davydenko novak djokovic paris masters philipp kohlschreiber queens radek stepanek rafael nadal richard gasquet robin soderling roger federer rome sabine lisicki samantha stosur sam querrey serena williams shahar peer shanghai sorana cirstea stuttgart svetlana kuznetsova sydney the withdrawal method thomaz bellucci titlists tokyo tomas berdych tommy robredo us open venus williams vera zvonareva victoria azarenka video wimbledon WTA wta week ahead WTFs yanina wickmayer
  • Categories

Archive for the ‘british tennis’ Category

Murray Withdraws from Davis Cup

Posted by gauloises1 on January 3, 2010

In totally unsurprising news, Andy Murray will not be participating in Great Britain’s forthcoming Davis Cup tie with Lithuania.

‘We have a few talented young players who need the experience of competing in the Davis Cup to help with their career development. I’m happy to step aside for this match and will take decisions on future ties with the LTA. It’s important we get back up the groups in the Davis Cup over the next few years. My focus in 2010 is on performing well in the Masters events and improving my record in the Grand Slams. I’m always available for my country and am happy to help.’

Completely sensible decision. There is no point in Murray playing until Great Britain are at least within shouting distance of the World Group. Evans, Goodall, Ward et al need to learn how to win ties without him and that way, we might be spared a repeat of our woeful performances against Poland, the Ukraine and so forth.

Stay home, Andy. Stay home.

Posted in andy murray, british tennis, davis cup | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Bog Standard No Longer Good Enough, Say LTA

Posted by gauloises1 on December 21, 2009

Alex Bogdanovic has been removed from the elite list of LTA players who will receive the highest level of funding in 2010.

Good.

Flemski, Dan Evans, James Ward (of training-with-Rafa and once-taking-a-set-off-Marat-Safin fame), Bally, Katie O’Brien, Keo, Heather Watson and Laura Robson have all made the ‘Top Tims for 2010’ list. Naomi Broady hasn’t. Get over it, LTA, and give the girl a leg up.

Posted in alex bogdanovic, british tennis | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Ward Tapped Up By Nadal, Broady Making ITF Strides

Posted by gauloises1 on December 14, 2009

On a night when both Andy Murray and Roger Federer lost out at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards (to Ryan Giggs and Usain Bolt respectively), it’s always good to see a Tim get an accolade. James Ward will be spending the next two weeks as Nadal’s practice partner in Mallorca.

He once took a set off Marat Safin, you know.

Cabbies’ son Ward is an alumni of the Juan Carlos Ferrero tennis academy and mentored by Greg Rusedski and Toni Colom, who worked with Rafa during his junior career. Ward also served as a practice partner for both Nadal and Federer during the WTFs.

 “The intensity Rafa brought to the court is something very special,” Ward said. “There would be 45-minute bursts without a break, very serious stuff. Roger, on the other hand, would be happy after half an hour and then be very chilled. But you see why both of them are as brilliant as they are. They have a tremendous attitude.”

On the vaginal side, give it up for Naomi Broady. Best known up till now for losing her LTA funding after being caught out on Bebo posting updates of which the LTA did not approve, Naomi has won three ITF titles in a row, dropping one set and racking up 15 successive victories, a British record.

Good girl. 

Posted in british tennis, james ward, naomi broady, rafael nadal | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Murray, Robson Confirmed for Hopman Cup

Posted by gauloises1 on October 28, 2009

It’s been confirmed that Andy Murray and Laura Robson will be representing Great Britain at the Hopman Cup in January.

murray robson hopman cup

I’m not keen on this idea particularly from the Robson POV – let’s hype her massively and push her hard, because god knows that’s never gone wrong for us before – but I must admit, it’ll be fun to see Great Britain representing at the Hopman Cup. C’mon Tim!

Posted in andy murray, british tennis, hopman cup, laura robson | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lucky Heather

Posted by gauloises1 on September 21, 2009

A nice piece on Heather Watson, the surprise US Open junior girls’ champion, who has made the decision to skip university for now and focus on trying to make it on the tour.

Having won the US Open junior title, Watson is full of optimism. With 15-year-old Laura Robson, the 2008 Wimbledon junior champion, she appears to give British women’s tennis an exciting future. Heather insists the pair are friends, as are their mothers, who regularly sit down to share a pot of tea. “Laura and Heather are pals, there’s no rivalry,” says Michelle. “They are good for one another.”

A week on from her New York success, Heather has had time to celebrate […] Most importantly, she has decided how the next chapters of her story might unfold. Despite offers of full scholarships from some of the United States’ best academic universities, she has decided she wants to be a full-time touring tennis professional. “It has taken some time to come to this decision. My parents and I spent months talking over the options,” said Heather, who is back in action this weekend in Saguenay, Canada, contesting a tournament that will bring her first pay cheque if she qualifies for the main draw.

“The prospect of university seemed the most sensible; plenty of college tennis plus the chance to get qualifications. Last weekend altered my thinking, though, and with time to reflect I can understand the feeling I got holding that trophy in New York, which was all so buzzy at the time. My dedication to tennis is 100%. I believe I can make it in the game.”

I’m fairly keen on this decision. She seems like she has an incredibly solid and supportive family behind her and if she wants to give the tour a go, why not? I wish her all the best, and that’s not just my desperation for some homegrown tennistical success talking.

heather

I’ve also spent some minutes giggling over this first-class piece of hyperbole from Nick Bollettieri:

“Heather is exemplary as a player and a student,” he said. “She’s come through the trenches, fought like hell, become a champion but always realised the importance of her education. She’s a princess, a scholar and a warrior. A few weeks ago I agreed her best option was to go to college. Now, watching her in New York, I see her vision and agree with it. I want to work with her on a one-to-one basis, give her all my 53 years of coaching experience and I see the future as so exciting.”

She’s also the 60-Second Interview, which has a couple of good moments in it.

So, where do you go from here?
If you gave me three wishes for my career I’d want to be No 1 in the world, win all four grand-slams and be a good role model.

Reach for the stars, sister.

What about “Our Andy”? How do you get on with him?
I’ve never even spoken to Andy Murray. I have sat a few seats down from him in the players’ lounge and I see him at the National Tennis Centre [in Roehampton, southwest London], although I haven’t plucked up the courage to talk to him yet.

Are you listening, Andy? Go be a nice boy and talk to the girl.

And the best bit …

Who do you look up to in tennis?
My favourite players are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martín del Potro — I always really liked him.

A young woman of taste and discretion, clearly. Go girl.

Posted in british tennis, heather watson | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

D Cup: “We Are Where We Deserve To Be.”

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

Failure this bad really deserves its own post. Great Britain lost to Poland, 3-2, a result which puts us into Group II of the Europe/Africa zone. That’s the same group as Hungary, Monaco, Lithuania, and Egypt, whose Davis Cup team is actually made up of mummies.

great britain

Not so much.

This really is beyond dismal. Credit to Andy Murray, who showed up injured and fatigued and did his bit, picking up the second of two points by polishing (ha!) off Jerzy Janowicz 63 64 63 to level the tie at 2-2.

great britain3

But why – why – Dan Evans couldn’t even take a set off a player ranked 376 places beneath him is beyond my comprehension. The British no. 2 lost to Michal Przysiezny 62 61 75 in less than two hours, losing his serve no less than seven times.

great britain2

From all accounts, the Pole raised his game significantly. But Evans must have played well below his, which is kind of the opposite of what’s supposed to happen in Davis Cup.

Murray has it right:

“I think now, at last, we are where we deserve to be. We clearly are not good enough to be playing against these teams,” Murray said. “With or without me, we are struggling to win matches.

“Everybody who’s involved – and I am one of them – needs to be honest about how we are doing and that we need to get better. This could be the best thing that happens.”

It’s a valid point. I mean, what’s going to happen? Unless something changes, we’ll get back up to Group I of the zone and then just lose all over again.

God. I wanted to rant about the patheticness of this, but I don’t even have the energy. You suck, Great Britain. We suck.

Posted in andy murray, british tennis, dan evans, davis cup | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

D Cup: Mandy Fit

Posted by gauloises1 on September 17, 2009

So after gently mocking Switzerland, it’s only fair to call attention to the parlous state of Team Tim. Thankfully, Murray is fit for this weekend’s tie against Poland in Liverpool, otherwise we’d have even less chance than we currently do.

hutchins evans murray fleming

I love how Murray’s the only one carrying a racquet. The other guys are probably all, “dude, what’s that funny-shaped stick?”

Anyway, Murray says he’s not thinking about del Potro (even if the rest of us are) and insists he’s fit for the tie, although it’s all a bit vague and worrying, wrist-wise:

For the moment, though, the world No 3 is only concerned about defeating a couple of Polish journeymen to provide Britain with the platform for a victory which would ensure they do not get demoted to the Davis Cup’s third tier for the first time in 13 years.

Despite still suffering from the “sore” left wrist which was clearly bothering him during the Cilic match, Murray said he was prepared to play both singles matches and the doubles if required.

“I’ve had it for a few weeks but I don’t think it is anything major that will require surgery,” said Murray, who again refused to make public the details of the injury.

“I’ll try to get through the match, hopefully win my singles matches and see how everything holds up and take a bit of a break after I finish. I think we’re capable of winning this match without me playing all three days but if I need to, I’ll play three.” It is still, however, unlikely that Murray will take part in Saturday’s doubles while captain John Lloyd is tipped to name promising Birmingham teenager Dan Evans on Thursday rather than British No 2 James Ward in the second singles berth.

Posted in andy murray, british tennis, davis cup | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

USO Day Fourteen: What’s Your Damage, Heather?

Posted by gauloises1 on September 13, 2009

Nothing. She’s solid. Heather Watson beat Yana Buchina 64 61 for the US Open junior girl’s title today.

hw3

buchina watson

83372614MD058_US_Open_Day_1

I think this is the first time a British girl has ever won the juniors at the US Open. And who would have thought the girl in question would be from Guernsey?! Madness.

“When I won, I hadn’t realized I’d won. I thought, ‘Oh, I won the match.’ And then I put my racquet down, and it finally began to sink in. It feels great,” she said. […]

Asked if she had been inspired by Robson’s win at Wimbledon last year Watson replied: “Definitely. She’s doing really well at a very young age.

“It would have been good to have an all British final, but she had it tough yesterday. It’s really good for British tennis, and we’re starting to come through.”

source

I’ve seen a few interviews with Heather on Sky Sports and she is adorable, sweet and smiley and a bit shy. She talked about what an inspiration her dad is – apparently his mantra is, ‘Whatever happens, I’m proud of you’ – and she had her mum, who looks also awesome, with her in New York. Really well done to her, I’m so pleased.

watson buchina

83372614MD062_US_Open_Day_1

On the boy’s side, congratulations go to the Atomic B, who picked up another junior Slam with a win over Chase Buchanan (also known as the WC who got torn apart by Tsonga in the first round).

chase buchanan tomic

Should he really still be in the juniors?

Posted in bernard tomic, british tennis, chase buchanan, heather watson, us open | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Brits R Balls: Seeing Double

Posted by gauloises1 on September 11, 2009

Not one, but two British girls are into the quarterfinals of the girl’s juniors.

lr2

heather watson

Laura Robson defeated twelfth seed Tamaryn Hendler of Belgium, 62 61, and Heather Watson beat Germany’s Annika Beck 64 75. I actually saw Heather interviewed after her second round win and she seemed like a sweet girl. Anyway, good show. C’MON TIM!

Posted in british tennis, heather watson, laura robson, us open | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Total Tim Failure. Before The USO Even Starts.

Posted by gauloises1 on August 31, 2009

Not a single Brit has qualified for the main draw despite the presence of a zillion of them in qualifying. Elena Baltacha lost in the final round of qualifying, as did Laura Robson, who was wildcarded into qualifying. She came back from a set down after play was suspended overnight due to the rain, and led 4-0 in the third set before collapsing.

laura r

The Times’ rather negative take on events:

But as she came to our corner of the court to wipe herself down, she kept muttering about being unable to breathe. It is what can happen in these circumstances. So close, so very close to victory and there is a blockage in the windpipe. Hrdinova, having been close to a final-set obliteration, sensed new hope; Robson began to double-fault, play carelessly off the ground, slap at volleys. The match had turned, inexorably. Hrdinova won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 and the cottage industry that is the Robson backing group looked at each other mournfully.

Tears flowed, as we knew they would. Composure was not easy. Those who had gathered in a huddle when she led 4-0, her management company, public-relations team and those from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour who were preparing for a victory speech, were made to look rather silly. Had they not studied the history of British tennis?

Good grief. She is FIFTEEN. Give the girl a break!

Posted in british tennis, laura robson, us open | Tagged: | 3 Comments »