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Old 07-02-2013, 10:41 PM   #21
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from my blog: Sabine Lisicki, Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens Reach Wimbledon 2013 Semifinals | Fairways and Forehands

Sabine Lisicki


A day after the biggest win of her tennis career over Serena Williams, Sabine Lisicki avoided a letdown by ousting Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 to advance to her second Wimbledon semifinal. She will be joined by Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens. Flipkens took out the only remaining former Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, in the quarterfinals. In my mind, although we won’t have the star power of Serena or Sharapova or Vika in Saturday’s final, what we will witness is somebody’s life change by capturing not only their first Wimbledon singles championship but their first singles Major, period.



Sabine Lisicki will play Agnieszka Radwanska in the more celebrated semifinal match-up. Aga is probably the best player at the moment without a Major. She is a human backboard that just keeps getting ball after ball back. That can be frustrating for a player like Sabine who will look to hit winners but will have to deal with the fact that she will have to hit more shots than she’s accustomed to because Radwanska will get shots back that would be outright winners against other players. Sabine has tremendous power, but so does Li Na, whom Aga handled in the quarterfinals (with an assist from Li Na, who didn’t challenge a bad call that would have won her the first set). My heart wants to see Sabine win, and go on to win the championship. However, my head wonders if she can keep her errors down if Aga makes her play shot after shot.



As much as my heart is with Sabine in her semifinal, it is also with Marion Bartoli in her semi. I love her attitude and personality. When asked once why she hadn’t received the same sponsorships and stardom as some other tennis players she answered, “Maybe I’m not blonde enough.” Marion is a non-blonde, fiery spark plug of a player. If you look at her, you wonder how she can compete with other women who look like they spend all of their time in the gym. Sometimes I wonder, with her big two-handed shots from both sides, if she were fitter whether she’d already be a Major winner. Nonetheless, she will have her chance now to win Wimbledon if she can handle the streaking Kirsten Flipkens and then the Sabine/Aga winner.



The semifinalists:

Sabine Lisicki


Agnieszka Radwanska


Marion Bartoli


Kirsten Flipkens


...and Sabine with Jack
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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Eugenie Bouchard


No ladies singles today...but there was a great match between Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco...anyway, from time to time I talk to other folks about up and coming tennis players...some go on to be great...some fade away...some become journeyman and journeywoman type players...soooo...yesterday, I was asked about Eugenie Bouchard...and as fate would have it, today the WTA posted a nice "get to know" video about Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard.



Genie and Masha, then and now


...and here's the Gangnam Style video they referenced in the first video...with an introduction by Maria Sharapova...

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Old 07-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #23
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more pics and videos on my blog: Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli Reach Wimbledon 2013 Ladies Singles Final | Fairways and Forehands

Sabine Lisicki


It will be a contest of contrasting styles in the Wimbledon 2013 Ladies Singles Final as the irresistible force of Sabine Lisicki’s serve will challenge the immovable object of Marion Bartoli’s return game. To punch her ticket to the final, Sabine survived one of the best women’s semifinal matches in recent memory against 4th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska. The match followed a similar pattern as Lisicki’s upset of top seed and defending champion, Serena Williams. Once again, Sabine won the first set, easily lost the second set, fell behind 0-3 in the final set and came back to win. The match had multiple swings in momentum until Lisicki finally prevailed over Radwanska, 6-4 2-6 9-7.





Marion Bartoli


Marion Bartoli made short work of Kirsten Flipkens in the other semifinal, 6-1 6-2. With the win, Marion reaches her 2nd Wimbledon final. She was runner-up to Venus Williams in 2007. Although my personal rooting interest was for Bartoli, it’s too bad to see Flipkens’ Cinderella ride end in blow out fashion. Then again, as the 15th seed, Marion is also writing her own Cinderella story, much like Sabine Lisicki. Still, Flipkens wasn’t quite 100% physically. That doesn’t take away from a great performance by Bartoli. She earned her trip to the final.





A lot of signs point to Sabine being the favorite over Marion in the final, despite Lisicki’s lower ranking. She has a 3-1 edge head to head over Marion. She won their last match against each other in the Wimbledon 2011 quarterfinals. She plays her best at Wimbledon. She’s bigger, stronger, younger and moves better than Bartoli. So it’s a slam dunk for Sabine, right? Well, maybe. Maybe not. There is one big edge Marion has over Sabine. Marion has been in the final of Wimbledon. Sabine has never been in the final of any Major. While Sabine dealt with the pressure of facing top seeds like Serena and Aga, the pressure of walking out onto the court in a Major final is something she’s never dealt with before. If Sabine can deal with the heat, she probably prevails. If not, look for Bartoli to emerge victorious.

The Finalists:

Sabine Lisicki






Marion Bartoli




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Old 07-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #24
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Disappointing women's final with the occasion getting the better of Lisicki. If she'd got into the second set a little earlier I think it would have been a tougher final, though the outcome may well have been the same. I think it's been good for women's tennis for their to be a new name on the trophy, and not the same predictable one.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:36 PM   #25
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more pics and video on my blog: Marion Bartoli Wins Wimbledon 2013 Ladies Singles Title | Fairways and Forehands

Marion Bartoli


In 1992, Dr. Walter Bartoli witnessed Monica Seles defeat Steffi Graf at Roland Garros in one of the classic Major finals in women’s tennis history, 6-2 3-6 10-8. Dr. Bartoli had a tennis playing daughter named Marion who was having trouble with her forehand. Watching Monica win 3 straight Roland Garros titles, with 2 of those wins over Graf, convinced him to teach Marion how to play like Seles, ripping groundstrokes with two hands off BOTH sides. Futhermore, as Seles did, Marion uses her return of serve as an offensive shot. John McEnroe credits Monica Seles as being the one who changed the way the women’s game is played on return of serve. According to him, and I agree, she made it an aggressive shot. Fast forward to Wimbledon 2013 and all of the top power players attack on return of serve, including Bartoli. It was that service return that would be tested in the Ladies Singles final against arguably the second best server in women’s tennis, Sabine Lisicki. Marion passed the test with flying colors, dominating an overwhelmed Lisicki, 6-1 6-4, to accomplish something Seles never did, win Wimbledon. Chris Evert surmised that Marion might be the first player to win the Ladies Championship at Wimbledon using two hands off both sides. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another.



Sabine Lisicki


Sabine Lisicki should hold her head high. I applaud what she accomplished at this Wimbledon. It hurts to lose in lopsided fashion now, but what a ride she took tennis fans on along the way. If you really love tennis, you understand that tournaments are about the entirety, not just the final. We all hope for scintillating, edge of your seat, momentum shifting, down to the wire type finals. But sometimes the best matches are played along the way, with the final being anti-climactic by comparison. It happens on both the men’s and women’s side. Just a few weeks ago at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played an epic 5 set semifinal, eventually won by Nadal 9-7 in the 5th. The final against David Ferrer didn’t match up to that epic standard. As I write this, we are one day removed from another classic 5 set semifinal between Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro, this time won by Nole. Whether the final against Andy Murray lives up to the Djokovic-del Potro semi remains to be seen. Such is the case with Sabine. She treated us to high level, suspenseful, down to the wire matches against defending champion and everybody’s pick to win, Serena Williams. A couple of rounds later she went to the mat again with the 4th seed, and last year’s runner up, Agnieszka Radwanska in another thriller, winning 9-7 in the final set. Because of this, I choose not to have any problems with her play against Bartoli. Would I have liked a better match? Sure, everybody would have. But that doesn’t erase the fact that the two best matches on the women’s side both included Sabine as a giant killer. Sabine admitted to being overwhelmed by the situation. I also think, as Chris Evert said, that she was also flat and out of gas. Those two matches drained her physically and mentally. And as Chrissie said while she was calling the match…when you don’t have it out there, you can’t fake it. Sabine didn’t have it today, because of nerves and an empty gas tank. Oh, but she gave tennis fans more than her fair share of excitement and brilliance this fortnight.



Marion Lisicki


With the title, Marion becomes the third Frenchwoman to win the Wimbledon singles championship, along with coach Amelie Mauresmo and the legendary Suzanne Lenglen. Perhaps this is a lesson for the helicopter parents with professional sports playing children, particularly fathers and daughters. Chris Evert was coached by her father and speaks of how delicate and complex that can be as a relationship. It can be overbearing at times. Lines get crossed at times. Moreover, at a certain point the father sometimes has to let go and let his daughter grow into her own person. That is what has happened this year with Marion. Dr. Bartoli was so omnipresent (by some people’s accounts overtraining and overworking his daughter) that Marion was not able to represent France at the 2012 London Olympics because he would not step aside for the duration of time Bartoli would be on the French Tennis Federation team. I couldn’t believe it, passing up the chance to play in the Olympics because for a few weeks a compromise couldn’t be made. Finally, going into this year…too late for the 2012 Olympics unfortunately…Dr. Bartoli told Marion that it was time for her to develop on her own, that he had taken her as far as he could. Marion also wanted to move on and do things her own way. Particularly, she wanted to work with Mauresmo. Who suggested the break first, I don’t know. They say it was a mutual decision. Let me be very clear, he did a great job developing his daughter into a professional top-10 player. But he could have had that conversation and let go 4 or 5 years ago and maybe she might have had a different career. It wasn’t smooth early this year for Marion. Growing pains I imagine from at long last being able to be own her own, making her own decisions about her career and preparation. There is a line from Life of Pi that speaks of the whole of life being an act of letting go. By letting go, Marion and her father were finally able to seize the most prestigious trophy in women’s tennis. I realize a cynic might say the draw opened up for her. But still, you have to be prepared to take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself. She’s had semifinal and quarterfinal opportunities in Majors before that she didn’t capitalize on. Not this time. This time, the Venus Rosewater Dish was in her sights when top seeds started dropping. She didn’t drop a set. She took out the player who took out Serena and Aga. And no less than any other Wimbledon titleist, she deserves to be a champion.





Marion Bartoli


with her dad




Sabine Lisicki






Marion and Sabine




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Old 07-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #26
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Andy Murray, brilliant! Only slightly biased. Of course, England is claiming him now he's won. I sincerely hope it isn't another 77 years until a good UK player comes along!

Any bets he'll get a knighthood in the New Year Honors?
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #27
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HIS-STORY!!!



...more to come later
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:57 PM   #28
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more pics and video on my blog: Marion Bartoli, Andy Murray Feted At Wimbledon 2013 Winners Ball | Fairways and Forehands

Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray


You have to think it was an especially jubilant Winners Ball at Wimbledon 2013. Andy Murray ended the 77 year drought of British Gentlemen’s Singles champions with his straight set defeat of Novak Djokovic. Nole is my favorite male player, but for the first time I was actually rooting against my favorite in a tennis match. It was a great thrill not only to see Andy break the curse, but to see the reactions on television and on YouTube of citizens all around Great Britain reacting with joy at match point. Also among the feted at the Winners Ball were Gentlemen’s Doubles winners Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States, along with Ladies Doubles winners Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China.



Ladies Doubles winners, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai


Gentlemen's Doubles winners, the Bryan Brothers


Girls' Singles winner, Belinda Bencic


Boys' Singles winner, Gianluigi Quinzi


Andy and mom, Judy Murray (also British Fed Cup captain)


Andy and coach Ivan Lendl


Andy and girlfriend, Kim Sears


Marion Bartoli (whoa! those heels!)




The Champions
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:34 AM   #29
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I wanted Djokovic to win.

No matter how the media tries to portray it,Murray is not universally loved over here...

Pax Vobiscum
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Saint-Just X View Post
I wanted Djokovic to win.

No matter how the media tries to portray it,Murray is not universally loved over here...

Pax Vobiscum
Saint-Just X
He is now, except by you. I'm not particularly a fan, definitely not of Djokovic, but Murray played out of his skin yesterday.
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