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View Poll Results: Who Would You Most Like To See Win The Women's Tennis Singles Olympic Gold Medal
Victoria Azarenka 0 0%
Serena Williams 1 12.50%
Venus Williams 1 12.50%
Maria Sharapova 1 12.50%
Kim Clijsters 2 25.00%
Caroline Wozniacki 0 0%
Li Na 0 0%
Samantha Stosur 0 0%
Petra Kvitova 0 0%
Agnieszka Radwanska 0 0%
Other (please name) 3 37.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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more pics on my blog: Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic Headline Tennis Players Who Served As Flagbearer For Their Country During The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony | Fairways and Forehands

Maria Sharapova


Career Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova was born in 1987, one year before tennis was re-introduced into the Olympics at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Tennis was part of the first 7 modern day Olympics, but had been absent as a medal sport for 64 years. In Russia, the Olympics are VERY important. Fast forward to 2012, and Masha became the first woman in Russian Olympic history to serve as flag bearer at the opening ceremony. That’s pretty impressive and speaks to how much of a global icon she is. Russia is not some country with only a few Olympians. They have a vast number of athletes from which to choose.



Novak Djokovic


Masha wasn’t alone in carrying the flag for her country, as 5-time Major winner and 2011 ATP Player of the Year Novak Djokovic also carried the flag for Serbia. They were among 8 tennis players who carried their countries flag into the stadium. That’s a pretty good number for tennis players to be chosen by the Olympic Federations of those countries. And it would have been 9, as Rafael Nadal was scheduled to carry the flag for Spain but is currently injured.



Masha




2012 Wimbledon finalist and flag bearer for Poland, Agnieszka Radwanska
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
I can. And off the top of my head. Rafael Nadal and Elena Dementieva. But sure, most people probably can't remember. But so what? I asked a couple of sports fanatic friends to tell me any wrestling or boxing gold medalist from Beijing and they couldn't. I bet they also couldn't name the gold medal winner in the javelin or shot put either. Let's eliminate boxing, wrestling and track and field.

By the way, they got Rafael Nadal but I think they were guessing since they also said Serena Williams and they like Nadal more than Federer.

Hey, maybe we should eliminate the LPGA tour too, since I bet you none of them could name an LPGA Major winner from this year, unless I give them credit for guessing "some Korean player?". In fact, I will ask...but I am afraid they might guess Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam or maybe even Michelle Wie.

The commercialization of the Olympics is a an issue decades old at this point. That's a dead horse.

If you simply don't like tennis in the Olympics I can't really comment on that. That's every individual's right. One thing I've learned about forums is you generally can't change anybody's mind. Like in the age rule thread. I won't change DB's mind and he won't change mine. So at this point we're just talking in circles until somebody (me, at this point) gets weary of the back and forth.

But I love tennis in the Olympics. It's a lot more exciting than being at some regular summer hardcourt event this week. And I am looking forward to women's golf in the Olympics.
Glad that you enjoy Olympics tennis! I love the opening ceremony and stayed late last night to watch Maria Sharapova carrying Russian flag. But, unfortunately, as a tennis tournament, it doesn't do it for me.

WTA has also gone out its way to devalue Olympics gold medal by assigning only 685 ranking points, which is less than 900 points for a P5 champion.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:44 PM   #13
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Ana Ivanovic


For me, tennis in the Olympics is a wonderful fan experience…well, except for one thing. As a life long tennis fan, over the years I develop favorites. With both the WTA and ATP being true world tours, those favorites come from around the world. That’s usually not a dilemma. However, in the Olympics, I like to be patriotic. So when a match-up between one of my favorites, Ana Ivanovic, and American Christina McHale is scheduled, I have to make a choice. Christina is a favorite too, but not like Ana. So I must admit, patriotism went out the window as I fully cheered Ana’s 6-4 7-5 victory.

Kim Clijsters


Also advancing on Day 1 were Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams. Kim plans to retire after the 2012 US Open. She stayed on tour, battling through injuries, for the specific chance to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s really terrific to see how much value the players put on the Olympics now. Leading up to 1988, when tennis was re-introduced as a medal event, there was talk of how much would the players care about the Olympics when the Majors like Wimbledon and the US Open were the elite tennis events. Obviously, they really care. And some say the Russian sports federation didn’t start making tennis a serious option for youngsters until it became a medal sport again. That renewed interest by Russia resulted in Russian women sweeping gold, silver and bronze (Elena Dementieva, Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva) at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Caroline Wozniacki


There were upsets and near upsets on day 1, with Caroline Wozniacki barely advancing past Anne Keothavong of Great Britain. Playing in front of a British crowd that loudly and enthusiastically cheered on Anne, Caroline absorbed a first set loss to come back and finally take out Keothavong, 4-6 6-3 6-2. There would be no escape for Li Na nor Samantha Stosur as each fell in thrilling, but ultimately for them disappointing, three set matches. For Li Na, you can almost forgive her loss as her vanquisher, Daniela Hantuchova, is a very dangerous potential giant-killer. No offense to Carla Suarez Navarro, a very good player, Samantha Stosur should not lose to her. In fact, she had never lost to her before and just beat her easily at Wimbledon 2012. But none of that mattered on day 1 of the Olympics as Suarez Navarro took Samantha deep into the third set, completing the upset 3-6 7-5 10-8.



Caroline Wozniacki


Ana Ivanovic


Elena Baltacha


Serena Williams
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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Great pics Bobby.

Just wondering why there were so many vacant seats. Anyone know? Seats seemed to be filled for other tennis events.

We've got beach volleyball on now and it's being played at Horse Guards Parade. The grandstands there seem to be filled. What's up with the tennis no-shows?
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ricearoni View Post
Great pics Bobby.

Just wondering why there were so many vacant seats. Anyone know? Seats seemed to be filled for other tennis events.

We've got beach volleyball on now and it's being played at Horse Guards Parade. The grandstands there seem to be filled. What's up with the tennis no-shows?
Is everybody taking a shot at Olympic tennis?

Capacity seemed pretty good when I was watching Sharapova-Peer and Djokovic-Fognini.

Remember, it's a full tournament going on, so there is play on lots of different courts, not just Centre Court or Court #1. Also, it's typical of tennis events to have low capacity early and full capacity late. First, for the reasons just given, there are a lot of matches going on at once. Second, the better match-ups...the Federer-Nadal, Nadal-Djokovic, Sharapova-Serena, etc match-ups happen later in the event.

Third, and most importantly...remember that Wimbledon didn't take place with the Olympics in town! There are dozens upon dozen of major events taking place. Some with medals already being awarded. Tennis won't award theirs until next week. So I might go watch Lochte vs Phelps in a final while early rounds are going on in tennis.

Also, I watched some beach volleyball too. We're talking minimal capacity compared to multiple courts (two being rather large) at the AELTC.

If Djokovic and Federer make it to the final, Centre Court will be packed.

If you've ever been to a regular tennis event during the week, it's common to have light attendance until the semis and final. That's even true at Majors. When I worked at the USTA, I remember during early rounds at the US Open, if seats close to the court were sparsely filled, they would move people down and even sometimes get USTA staff and volunteers to fill up the seats, so it looked better on TV.

But as I said, I have been watching the tennis coverage on Bravo, and I thought the exact opposite. I thought it was really good attendance for Centre Court and Court 1 for the first round. Outer courts, I don't know, but CC and C1 looked good to me for a first round.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #16
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Thinking about going to the open this year. Havent been there in a few years.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
Also, it's typical of tennis events to have low capacity early and full capacity late. First, for the reasons just given, there are a lot of matches going on at once. Second, the better match-ups...the Federer-Nadal, Nadal-Djokovic, Sharapova-Serena, etc match-ups happen later in the event.
OK. I'm deferring to your experience. I've only been to 2 or 3 tennis events, and they were not the final games, so I've not personally seen a full house situation.

I'm really enjoying the multiple viewing opportunities of these Olympics. I've watched quite a variety today.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ricearoni View Post
OK. I'm deferring to your experience. I've only been to 2 or 3 tennis events, and they were not the final games, so I've not personally seen a full house situation.

I'm really enjoying the multiple viewing opportunities of these Olympics. I've watched quite a variety today.
To be fair, I have to say it also depends on the event. Some events...like non-Premier type events, even at the end it might not be completely full. But for Wimbledon or the US Open, those finals sell-out well before the event even starts (though they hold some tickets back...but that's another story). And again, remember that in this event, the Summer Olympics are in town!

Also, xman5 says he is maybe going to the US Open this year. He's been there before I think, so he knows what's going on there. But I actually recommend for people who have never been to a tennis Major to go to the US Open the first week. And you don't even need a ticket to Arthur Ashe (although the premier match-ups will be there)...just a grounds pass...sometimes it's tough to tell how many people are there by watching a match on TV...there are sometimes 20 matches, give or take, going on at one time early in the event...

...so you get to see a LOT of tennis...during the second week, of course you get quarters, semis and the final, but much less tennis overall...but it looks better on television as there are fewer matches on the grounds to draw people to other courts (well, there are junior and senior matches...wheelchair, too)...

...and even if you don't love tennis, I can't put in words how much is happening on the grounds...so many interesting booths and interactive experiences...live music...gourmet chefs...kids activities...sometimes people spend more time not watching tennis...


...so if anybody asked me about going to the US Open in NYC...I recommend first week...the first Friday is Membership Appreciation Day, if you join the USTA as a member, which is pretty cheap and you get a lot of membership benefits (including early access to US Open tickets before they go on sale to the general public...also American Express members get early ticket offers)...

...if you can get a ticket for Arthur Ashe, then do so, but a grounds pass during the day will do nicely...
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #19
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One last thing...I have heard complaints about the attendance at the tennis venue...and people who couldn't get sold out tickets being upset when those who bought those tickets don't show up. But again, I think the organizers might want to pull out tapes of Majors the first couple of days and look at the crowds during the day...not when Federer or Sharapova are playing, but the non-mainstream superstars...you'll see plenty of empty seats then too...also add in the rain and the Olympics being in town.

But the tickets for the tennis event are sold. So that's not the problem. What they have talked about and what they should do is if ticketholders don't show up the first 30 minutes, fans without tickets can be let in the stadium...it's doesn't hurt them as the tickets are already sold.

But that's all I have to say about that...I want to enjoy the tennis. And hopefully...see Kim Clijsters win...or Masha, if Kimmie doesn't come through...on the men's side, as always, I root for Djokovic...

...also I feel a little guilty talking about the crowds...when I watch the LPGA sometimes and see small crowds...I feel badly sometimes because I consider myself a big LPGA fan, yet I have never supported the tour by actually attending an event...maybe next year...of course, I say that every year...actually, I want to go to France next year...maybe Evian...hmmmm....maybe...

...of course, Majors and certain events get big crowds, but some events I have watched on tv look like there are several groups with almost nobody following them...
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
But that's all I have to say about that...I want to enjoy the tennis. And hopefully...see Kim Clijsters win...or Masha, if Kimmie doesn't come through...on the men's side, as always, I root for Djokovic...
On the men's side. it would be nice if Andy Murray makes it to the finals and even better if he wins. Love to see the English go crazy before a packed house.
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