Quick Quotes: Redfoo Getting More Attention from ESPN Than Some Athletes

If I could go back in a time machine to the 2012 US Open and tell the WTA that celebrating Redfoo’s birthday was a terrible idea, I’d do so in two seconds. Since he wasn’t forced upon us enough during the Australian Open fortnight, or even over the past six months, ESPN Playbook interviewed him upon his return from Melbourne. He talks about why he loves tennis, Azarenka…and other things.

On how he supports Azarenka:

When I root for stuff, I watch to see what she does and then I just do it louder…

It’s [also] knowing to stay out of the way. It’s just understanding when she’s focused and in her mode that she’s not going to be the same way. Once she puts her headphones on, you can forget it.

On where his passion for tennis came from:

My mother actually used to play. When she was pregnant with me, she was playing tennis. They make a joke — I don’t know if it’s true — her water broke on the tennis court…

When I was born, I lived with my dad for two years. I was always watching him on a tennis court as a kid, he was a fanatic. Boris Becker would come to the house and play chess. They’re still friends with Monica Seles…

On his and Azarenka’s….whatever they have:

Yeah, I think so [that they're dating]. It’s pretty out there. I hope so! We don’t talk about it that much, but if I saw her with another dude, I wouldn’t be happy about it. We just try to do our thing and have fun and laugh.

I don’t think I’m physically capable of making comments about him anymore, so I present you with this GIF of my emotions:

Consider this my white flag.

BREAKING: Bernard Tomic is Still…Something.

Fret not, people of Australia – it’s now safe to take the roads again.

Tomic, who was granted a stay of execution a 12-month one point license for good behavior after his “hooning” incident in an obnoxious orange BMW (which he later sold), was caught speeding at 78 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in an even more obnoxious yellow Ferrari (with the license plate S1NCITY on it) Tuesday. As a result, a $220 fine was levied against him and he lost three points on his license, leading to its suspension.

I find this incredibly entertaining. After simultaneously proclaiming himself the next GOAT and begging us to take him seriously for his tennis at the Australian Open, he goes and does this barely two days later.

As if his behavior wasn’t already offensive enough, he’s also single-handedly trying to bring cutoffs back in.

Bernie, since you’re not going to be using that Ferrari for a while, I heard a certain Sergiy Stakhovsky is still in need of one.

Get it Right: Grunting & Hindrance

I always tell myself that I’m never going to get involved with the two most ridiculous debates in tennis, grunting and equal prize money, but just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Let me preface this by saying this is not going to be a rant about the aesthetics of grunting. Some find it annoying, while others, such as myself, aren’t bothered by it at all. That’s completely acceptable; I’m not here to force my opinion on others, nor would I appreciate others forcing their opinion on me. However, I am here to address facts.

It is because of this that I felt the need to write this, against my better judgement; despite the fact that this non-issue has already been beaten to hell and back, the commentary on it points towards another, even more glaring issue in tennis.

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Quick Quotes: Players Almost Melt in Obscene Australian Heat

1826542,h=425,pd=1,w=620The weather was the real story on day four at Melbourne Park; players were put to the test in brutal conditions, with temperatures reaching 106 F around midday. Fans sought cover in the shaded areas of the show courts, and many of the outer courts were devoid of spectators who sought relief from the heat. Players were shaded by umbrellas and treated with bags of ice on changeovers, and even umpires and lines people were instructed to keep themselves hydrated.

Later, many of the players spoke about the difficulties of adapting to the conditions.

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Jerzy Janowicz: Hot Mess Express

Since I’ve been getting into all sorts of fun and shenanigans over at TennisGrandstand during the Australian Open fortnight, I’ve been neglecting my usual duties. Namely, being snarky and obnoxious in response to players being snarky and obnoxious.

The Jerzy Janowicz hype train pulled into Melbourne, as the Pole entered his first Grand Slam as a seeded player this fortnight. Janowicz’s run to the finals of the Masters 1000 series event in Paris was one of the stories of the end of the 2012 season but I’m not completely sold on him.

This might be why.

Q.  Have you gone as nuts as that in a match before?
JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah (smiling).
Q.  Have you hit the umpire’s chair before?
JERZY JANOWICZ:  Maybe (smiling).

He faced off in the second round against Somdev Devvarman on Court 8; although Court 8 is a TV court, it doesn’t have Hawkeye installed.

Largely uninteresting at the start, the pair traded breaks and ended up in a tiebreak mostly because of Janowicz’s deluge of unforced errors. That’s when things got weird.

What followed was one of the most ridiculous and unnecessary displays I’ve ever seen. Oh, and Janowicz had a total freakout.

Devvarman raced out to a 5-1* lead in the tiebreak, but the Pole would win five points in a row to take a  6-5* lead. Each player would have multiple set points until Devvarman found himself serving at 9-8* down in the breaker. Behind a second serve, Devvarman hit a forehand down the line which is called in. I don’t speak Polish, but I’d imagine Janowicz to be lamenting about [Mean Girls reference] being personally victimized by the officials. [/Mean Girls reference]

In case you haven’t seen it, and god knows who hasn’t following the Australian Open’s shameless self-promotion of the entire incident, behold.

Peak Marija Cicak slaying as usual. Her IDGAF attitude during Janowicz’s meltdown is hilarious. Even when he hit her chair. For the record, Cicak also ignored a much more polite rant from Devvarman earlier in the set. You dun mess.

Despite the hype train being derailed by the Hot Mess Express, Janowicz would rally to win in five sets, 67(10) 36 61 60 75.

HOW MANY TIMES?! ….. has he done this? Never, apparently.

Q.  Have you come back down 2 Love before?
JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, this is my first time.

Throwback Thursday – Athens 2004: French Open Champions Cross Paths in Classic

Anastasia-Myskina

The 2004 WTA season was categorized by the arrival of the Russians. 15 tour titles were won by Russians that year, while Anastasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova bagged three of the four major titles. Elena Dementieva finished runner-up twice and the foursome sat comfortably inside the year-end top 10 rankings. Myskina’s triumph at Roland Garros over Dementieva made her the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam, but is largely considered the forgotten one of the quartet. Sharapova and Kuznetsova both went on to win other major titles in their careers and Dementieva was the gold-medalist at the 2008 Olympics.

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Quick Quotes: The [Yet Again] Unemployed Ricardo Sanchez Speaks

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Ricardo Sanchez has always been one of the WTA’s more colorful characters. From “Stopwatchgate” in Stuttgart 2008, where he heckled Venus Williams for taking too much time between points, to the Tokyo drama last season, he’s built up quite an infamous reputation. His latest interview, conducted in Spanish, gives Sanchez’s take on working with Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki and most recently, Nadia Petrova; Sanchez says he and Petrova decided to mutually part ways for this season and still have a nice relationship.

If your Spanish is better than mine, you can read the original interview here.

Some of the best bits:

On the idea that Petrova is difficult to work with and is not popular on tour:

Nadia is a woman from the East and each has a different character. She’s very quiet, but when she opens up to people, she is a spectacular person…Nadia is not a person who opens to the whole world, but when she does, she gives her heart and friendship.

On his failed coaching venture with Wozniacki:

At this moment, a qualified coach for her does not exist, because father and daughter have a very special chemistry…I do not believe Piotr had the capacity to leave his daughter alone with me, so it did not work out.

Had he been able to work with Wozniacki without issue:

This year, she would have certainly remained in the top five and could have won a Grand Slam…Serena, Azarenka, Sharapova, Radwanska and Petrova are playing better than Caroline. They have far more resources and Wozniacki, at the present time, has a more defensive game.

On Maria Sharapova:

For me…she has not improved in the last three years. This year at Roland Garros…everybody lost and instead there was Errani, who is inexperienced in such games. I have great respect for Sharapova and believe she and Serena are very good for tennis.

On his oldest charge, Jankovic:

If Jankovic calls me and tells me: ‘Richi, grab a plane and we’ll go through the circuit the two of us alone,’ tomorrow, I go where she is.

On the drama in Spanish women’s tennis:

Of course I would [like to be Spanish Fed Cup captain.] If you leave me to my work, in three or four years, Spanish women’s tennis would improve.

On possibly coaching on the ATP:

I would not mind, but on the women’s tour I am at the level of the five best coaches in the world…I have spoken with [Verdasco] and his father several times.

Sanchez is quite observant regarding the goings on with the WTA, and despite his loose cannon of a mouth, many of the things he says in this interview are both thoughtful and correct. Sanchez’s narcissism is one of his biggest personality traits, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to anoint him as ‘one of the top five’, he *is* a good coach. He got Petrova to play her best tennis in arguably six years at the end of 2012 and was largely the driving force behind all of Jankovic’s success – success that she hasn’t found again.