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Old 03-21-2011, 05:31 AM   #21
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blog: Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal To Win BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells; Caroline Wozniacki Takes Women’s Crown With Win Over Marion Bartoli Fairways And Forehands



The Year of the Djoker continued in the final of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells as Novak Djokovic defeated world #1 Rafael Nadal 4-6 6-3 6-2, keeping Djokovic unbeaten for 2011 at 18-0 and extending his match winning streak to 20 going back to last year’s Davis Cup final. Nadal came out early attacking Novak’s backhand, in one service game he did nothing but serve to Novak’s backhand. For a little while that strategy worked. Novak committed 13 first set unforced errors. Early on, it looked like Nadal would break Novak’s unbeaten streak. But what is good for the goose is also good for the gander as Novak began slicing his serve to Nadal’s backhand. Nadal had no answer as Novak went on a 6 game win streak from the end of the second set to 4-0 in the final set. The crucial game seemed to be the final game of the second set as Novak wasted a couple of set points. They went to deuce a handful of times before Novak gutted it out. Pushing the match to a third set seemed to invigorate Novak while deflating Rafa. It seemed all of the steam went out of Rafa’s game at the beginning of the final set while Novak couldn’t miss. A statement was made on Sunday. Roger, Rafa, Robin and Andy beware. There is a new sheriff in town.





We can argue about quality of Grand Slam performance for Kim Clijsters or lack of a defined single weapon, but at the end of the day Caroline Wozniacki keeps rolling, ignoring (as best she can) the critics around her who wait for a Grand Slam title. Roland Garros is around the corner, and for now I would make Wozniacki and Clijsters even in their chances to win the title. On Sunday, the world #1 proved that consistency and court intelligence is as much a defined weapon as a big serve or powerful forehand. Martina Hingis, in her prime, often looked like she wasn’t doing much…except winning, yanking opponents around the court while seemingly not breaking a sweat. Similarly, Wozniacki ran Marion Bartoli all around the court in Sunday’s final, winning 6-1 2-6 6-3. I give Bartoli credit for not bowing out meekly, but she looked exhausted from Caroline yo-yoing her around the court while Caroline looked like she had just finished warming up.

“I’m sorry, I’m a little bit in tears right now, but it’s more tears of tiredness – Caroline, you made me really tired today!” Bartoli said in the on-court ceremony. “Caroline, you should be very proud of yourself and I wish you all the best in the future. I know your goal is to get a Grand Slam. I’m sure you’ll get it very soon.”









...and I have to share video of one champion showing a little love for another champion on the practice courts (Caroline and Novak)
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:25 PM   #22
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Now, we're on to the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, the second half of the mini-Major back to back swing. But before the tournament got underway, the WTA's Vania King, a two time doubles Major winner (2010 Wimbledon and US Open w/Yaroslava Shvedova), joined the ATP's Mardy Fish, Tomas Berdych, Ivan Ljubicic and Potito Starace to swim with the dolphins.

I would do this, I admit. It seems safe...it's not swimming with orcas, after all. But I find it interesting that all the players who did it were not considered threats to win the singles title. No Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, etc.



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Old 03-24-2011, 09:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Elf View Post
DEdicated to BKB. A commercial video of two of her tennis idols:

YouTube - Serena Williams Stars In A Sexy New Video Game Commercial Fo
I know you asked this in the golf rules thread, but I decided to respond in a tennis thread so that doesn't get off topic.

They say it's the thought that counts, so thanks for thinking of me...except two errors...first...Imma dude...so no "her idols"...however, I am in touch with my feminine side...so who knows...maybe a long drive competition is in my future...and if you're going to dedicate a tennis video to me...choosing one with Serena...less effective...I did put a video clip of a a tennis video game on my blog with Serena in it...but that was because of Ana Ivanovic being in the video...on my blog, I do post about Serena...but there I try to be impartial...even though my fondness for Kim Clijsters is hard to hide...my current tennis faves on the ladies side...Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic, Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams (trust me, a very different personality than Serena), Kim Clijsters, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic...and finally, Kim Clijsters...

...but it's not because I think Kim is "hot" or anything...she's nice looking but there are a truckload of Russian beauties on tour these days...Kim is not a glamour girl like them...she can never seem to get her hair to behave...I love her game...and she is such a sweetheart of a person...her charity work and just how she treats people...when I worked at the USTA there were many players who had poor reputations stemming from a kind of a prima donna air they had when dealing with workers (the little people) below the tournament director, the president and CEO, etc...but not a bad word was ever said about Kim Clijsters...no air, no attitude...but still a strong, focused woman...everybody loved...and I would imagine...still loves...Kimmie...
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:36 PM   #24
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If you're going to dedicate a tennis video to me...this is more like it:



...speaking of Kimmie...she took part in a fundraising event for relief efforts in Japan during the Sony Ericsson Open...



They were able to raise $300,000 that night for Japan relief. Also, the shirt Kimmie is wearing is a custom designed FILA shirt that will be on sale throughout the Sony Ericsson Open. All money from the shirt sales will be donated to Japan relief. The ATP and WTA are also collecting signed memorabilia from players to be auctioned off for Japan relief.



Said WTA star and 2010 Wimbledon and US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva:

"We compete against each other but when such a disaster happens in the world, we have to become a tennis family and show people we're thinking of them. It can really motivate people. Giving back as much as we can is very important. We are all successful at what we do but we've all had a lot of support from others to be here today and it's our responsibility to give back. It's the responsibility of the whole tennis family."

Kim collects money from a fan




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Old 03-26-2011, 12:23 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by bangkokbobby View Post
I know you asked this in the golf rules thread, but I decided to respond in a tennis thread so that doesn't get off topic.

They say it's the thought that counts, so thanks for thinking of me...except two errors...first...Imma dude...so no "her idols"...however, I am in touch with my feminine side...so who knows...maybe a long drive competition is in my future...and if you're going to dedicate a tennis video to me...choosing one with Serena...less effective...I did put a video clip of a a tennis video game on my blog with Serena in it...but that was because of Ana Ivanovic being in the video...on my blog, I do post about Serena...but there I try to be impartial...even though my fondness for Kim Clijsters is hard to hide...my current tennis faves on the ladies side...Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic, Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams (trust me, a very different personality than Serena), Kim Clijsters, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic...and finally, Kim Clijsters...
Hi bkb: First an apology about "her idols" (I know you are a dude from way back and from your style), but over sights occur. Second error: Wrong thread. Third error: Thinking you had not seen the video as it was pulled out from obvious reason not acceptable to the sponsor.
OK. After "mea culpa" one question: Is the other player Ana Ivanovic?

Last edited by Elf; 03-26-2011 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Elf View Post
Hi bkb: First an apology about "her idols" (I know you are a dude from way back and from your style), but over sights occur. Second error: Wrong thread. Third error: Thinking you had not seen the video as it was pulled out from obvious reason not acceptable to the sponsor.
OK. After "mea culpa" one question: Is the other player Ana Ivanovic?
...you never know...I am in touch with my feminine side...and I always wanted to compete in a long drive competition...sooooo....

The other "player" is actress/model Rileah Vanderbilt...hasn't been in a lot of serious movies...mostly B-list or even C-list type things...my guess is they picked her to sort of mimic the look of Ana...but Ana is in a video game with Serena called Top Spin 4...

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Old 03-26-2011, 11:21 AM   #27
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Kim Clijsters


Coming off an injury retirement at Indian Wells, Kim Clijsters wasted no time dispatching Anastasiya Yakimova in the second round of the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, 6-1 6-1. However, there are some cautionary details in Kimmie’s win. While it’s good to see her on court after a shoulder injury, her serve, which is very dependent on full shoulder rotation, was under 50%. This leads me to wonder whether it’s still going to be a problem, particularly when she gets into matches where she isn’t blowing out her opponent in 49 minutes. It’s true that Yakimova did win an ITF tournament last week, but she is still not yet in the class of players awaiting Kim in the draw. Clijsters says her shoulder is not fully healed, but much better than at Indian Wells. Will that be enough to successfully defend her title?

Vera Zvonareva


Former #1 Dinara Safina continued to show signs, albeit in a losing effort, that she should not be counted out. Against Vera Zvonareva, Safina came out and matched Vera’s tough play. Both ladies were playing high level tennis, save for some double faults from Safina. After securing a break to win the first set, Safina’s level dropped off. Actually, both players came down a little but Safina moreso. I wonder if Safina still needs to get into better shape, as Vera’s superior fitness and movement gave Safina problems, especially on her second serve. Still, a 3-6 6-3 6-2 loss to Zvonareva is as good a sign as a loss can be that Safina is continuing to improve from the player that suffered a double bagel against Kim Clijsters a few months ago.

more pictures and a video of Ana Ivanovic doing the Petko Dance here: Kim Clijsters Breezes In Second Round Of 2011 Sony Ericsson Open; Vera Zvonareva Beats Former #1 Dinara Safina In Three Fairways And Forehands

Kim Clijsters
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:31 AM   #28
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Maria Sharapova


Give both Maria Sharapova and Samantha Stosur credit. The two big hitting WTA stars come into their fourth round battle fresh off of dropping a bagel set on a dangerous foe. Sharapova absolutely torched Sabine Lisicki, 6-2 6-0. Although Lisicki is a qualifier, she is coming back from injury and was once an up and coming player with a big serve. Unfortunately, she served poorly against Sharapova while Maria found her groove with a 70% first serve percentage. She also put pressure on Lisicki with her return game. Lisicki only had 7 total service games, but was broken in 6 of them, facing 13 break points overall.

Samantha Stosur


Meanwhile, Samantha Stosur came out strong against Lucie Safarova before fighting off a tie-break challenge, winning 6-0 7-6 (1). It was a tale of two sets as Stosur used her powerful serve and forehand to push Safarova around in the first set. Samantha only lost 1 point on her first serve, and only 3 points overall on serve, the entire first set. She was in one of those grooves similar to last year when she playing off the charts going into the French Open. But she cooled down in the second set, with Safarova finding her feet and matching Stosur stroke for stroke except that despite one break, Lucie still was having problems with Samantha’s serve.

Maria Sharapova


Sharapova has won all six of her matches against Samantha Stosur, but their last match was a year and half ago. Stosur is a completely different player than the one Maria beat all those times. But one thing does still favor Sharapova. Styles make matches, and Stosur is just the kind of player Maria likes, someone who will just try to hit power for power. Sharapova, in baseball terms, is a fastball hitter. Win or lose, she loves to play opponents who will give her a lot of pace, like Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Samantha Stosur. The worst match-ups for her are, again in baseball terms, off-speed pitchers, ones who use Maria’s aggression and lack of patience against her, like Caroline Wozniacki. At the end of the day, Stosur still is a slight favorite going in, but I think the feeling is that Sharapova has a great chance for the upset.



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Old 03-27-2011, 03:51 AM   #29
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bkb: I love your pictures, comments, and videos. Thank you.
Again two questions: Are the Williams sisters vetoed from the tournament or is it the other way around? Either way, why?
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:29 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Elf View Post
bkb: I love your pictures, comments, and videos. Thank you.
Again two questions: Are the Williams sisters vetoed from the tournament or is it the other way around? Either way, why?
Both are injured. Venus will be back, I imagine, fairly soon. Serena, on the other hand, not only is struggling with a foot injury, but also was diagnosed with a blood clot and edema...her return is up in the air...

Brandy


Singer-actress Brandy has been almost as active as the players at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open. She sang the the national anthem before a Rafael Nadal match, took part in the Tennis Family Relief For Japan and hit some balls with WTA star Jelena Jankovic.

Brandy is in the second half of this video and at the end with LeBron James.




w/Novak Djokovic and Denis Istomin


w/Jelena Jankovic
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