Monday, January 17, 2011

Melbourne miscellany

Tennis Australia's Louise Pleming is acting as Jelena Dokic's temporary coach at the Australian Open. I reported recently that Dokic had hired Glenn Schapp to be her coach, but apparently, that didn't work out. Dokic said she "didn't feel that click" with Schapp.

The Tennis Channel commentating team waited until Agnieszka Radwanska was down 1-4 in the third set of the first round before casually mentioning that she had had foot surgery in October and wasn't sure, until the last minute, that she would play in Melbourne. Radwanska hadn't played since September, and not discussing her injury and surgery felt like a major omission. (She did win the match, but that's another story.

One more time: Alla Kudryavtseva did not make a disparaging remark about Maria Sharapova's tennis dress when she upset her in the 2008 Wimbledon tournament. She made a sarcastic little joke as a response to what she thought was a less-than-intelligent question from a member of the sports media. It shocked her that dozens of journalists didn't get that she was being ironic. It didn't exactly shock me.

While I'm on the subject of the tennis media....ESPN's Australian Open commentators' discussion of the "great cloud" concerning Serena Williams' foot is beyond tiresome. A drunken, irresponsible person threw a bottle and cut Williams' foot. It was a significant injury. She had to have two surgeries. Great cloud.

Vania King is walking, shopping in Melbourne's Chinatown, singing, and preparing to play Australian Open number 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki.

This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen occur in a professional tennis match:


Anonymous said...

I was laughing so hard with my husband I though I was going to fell off the coach! Aga is just one of a kind! Winning that match afterward was almost confusing, Haha!

svente said...

The announcing is absurd sometimes. I don't have tennis channel so I'm watching on espn and McEnroe was just talking about Safina and how she's such an emotional mess and can't win bc of her mental health issues without bothering to mention her chronic back issues.

I know she's had her mental toughness tested and has fallen at times bc of it (love "thrill ride" by the way!) but come on. This past year's fall has not been just about her mental fortitude.

Those ladies. So emotional, amirite?

Anonymous said...

^^Svente beat me to it.

Listening to ESPN you'd think Dinara just escaped from a mental health facility. I'm really pulling for her tonight!


svente said...

Hahaha! I LOLed for realz, David.

Fog Mountain said...

The story about Serena being hit by a thrown bottle was an early rumor, possibly based on Serena's publicist's incredibly vague statement that she was cut by glass but she didn't step on it. Serena herself later said that she DID step on glass, and claimed implausibly that she didn't even realize it until she saw blood:

The fact that no independent witnesses have appeared is puzzling, given the claim that the injury supposedly happened in a crowded public place. There's also the question of why Serena played an exhibition match after sustaining the injury. And the question of why a professional athlete would be dumb enough to walk around in a crowded, dark, unfamiliar public place while wearing sandals.

The various stories are vague, inconsistent, and ultimately don't make sense. This suggests to many of us that Serena has something to hide.

Diane said...

It would have been funny under any circumstance, but its happening to Radwanska made it twice as funny. That face! She has so little affect, anyway, and the look on her face when the racquet head flew off was just priceless.

I caught the lack of reference to Safina's back, too, and I found it puzzling. Her back went out more than once, she missed months of play, and was even told her career might be over--nothing relevant or worth mentioning, of course. Or at least, not for ESPN.

As for Serena--to me--it doesn't matter. Because whatever happened with the glass and the bottle in the restaurant in Germany--it would have been reported wrong, anyway. It's obvious that her people mismanaged the information, and I suspect there was some embarrassment involved, too. I guess it just irritates me that a group of people notorious for creating a "big cloud" keep complaining about one. said...

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