Who Wore it Best? Shirtless is the New Trend

Written By: achangeofends - Mar• 18•12

Based on our practice court photos, it looks like shirtless is in this season, or maybe it was just hot… Anyway, with so many options, there was a little something for everyone. Who do you think wore it best? Vote below, or feel free to sound off in the comments.

Rafael Nadal

Robert Lindstedt

Iveta Benesova

Julien Benneteau

Jarkko Nieminen

David Ferrer

Feliciano Lopez

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova

Viktor Troicki

Horia Tecau

First Week Controversy at the Australian Open

Written By: achangeofends - Jan• 22•12

Today, we officially enter the second week of the Australian Open. Week one has yielded plenty of memorable moments. US Open Champion, Aussie Samantha Stosur was knocked out in the first round by Sorana Cîrstea. After three emotional wins, Lleyton Hewitt has landed himself in the fourth round at his home Slam for the seventh time. Bernard Tomic emerged as the future of Australian tennis, before being dismantled in the fourth round by his idol, Roger Federer. Kim Clijsters shook off an ankle sprain to beat Li Na in Melbourne for the second year in a row. However, perhaps the most memorable moments of the first week didn’t come from any of these headline match ups. Here are some of the most controversial moments of Week 1.

Marcos Baghdatis lets off some steam

In his four set loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, Marcos Baghdatis showed us that he is a champion when it comes to breaking rackets. However, his outburst didn’t come cheap. He was fined $200 per racket, not to mention he probably needed a few more rackets.

David Nalbanian vs. Kader Nouni

The general consensus is that Kader Nouni was in the wrong. Nalbandian clearly asked to challenge the call in what seemed like a timely manner, John Isner even encouraged him to challenge, and yet Nouni would not allow the challenge. In the end, the match was delayed far longer than the challenge would have taken since Nalbandian took up his cause with another official. You have to think the call somewhat contributed to Nalbandian’s five set loss. In a possibly unrelated incident, Nalbandian was fined $8,000 for throwing water on an Australian Open official.

Tomas Berdych Booed

Nicolas Almagro may not be the most well loved player, but I have a hard time believing that he meant to peg Berdych with that shot. Tomas obviously saw the incident a little differently, refusing to shake the Spaniard’s hand at the end of the match. The Aussies clearly take their sportsmanship very seriously because they booed Berdych straight through the post match interview.

Feel free to use the comments section to weigh in on these events. Should Marcos have been fined for his racket abuse? Should umpires be held accountable for their actions? Were the fans justified in booing Tomas Berdych?

Merry Christmas

Written By: achangeofends - Dec• 24•11

Happy Dancing Spaniards Part 2

Written By: achangeofends - Dec• 05•11

There are very few things I love more than watching tennis players dance.

Berdych Rallies to Win Group A and Complete Unpredictable Final Four

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 25•11

Today marked the end of round robin play at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The semifinal matches have been set, and I for one am quite happy not to have to work through anymore ATP logic puzzles. Quite unusually, the semifinal stage will feature only one of the world’s top four players. I’d imagine few people would’ve put money on Federer/Ferrer and Berdych/Tsonga semis at the beginning of the week.

While I have suspicions that the scientists at NASA devised the round robin scoring system in place at the World Tour Finals, when it came down to it, things were pretty simple. David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych were the only two players in Group A to win two of their three round robin matches, so those are the two that move on right? Right. In the case that two players are tied for number of matches, the head to head of those two players is the first decider. Since Berdych defeated Ferrer in what could only be a third set meltdown from the Spaniard, Tomas emerged as the victor of Group A and David comes in second.

Things were even easier in Group B. Roger Federer is the only player in the field to have won all three of his round robin matches, so that makes him the clear winner of Group B. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the only member of Group B to win two out of three matches and so becomes the second semifinalist from that group. So, let’s quickly preview our two semifinal match ups.

Roger Federer v. David Ferrer

These two vets have played each other eleven times and, unfortunately for Ferrer, Federer has won all eleven encounters. That’s good news for the former No. 1, who has shown outstanding form in his last three tournaments. Up until today, Ferrer had also showed fine form this week, but his lackluster performance in the third set against Tomas Berdych is worrisome. He cannot afford that kind of mental lapse against Federer, who would quickly seize on the opportunity. Regardless of Ferrer’s level of play, it seems Federer has come to London looking for another trophy and I just don’t think David has the goods to stop him this time around.

Prediction: Federer def. Ferrer, 2 sets

Tomas Berdych v. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Perhaps the more interesting match up of the day, these two guys have only met once on the ATP World Tour. Their first meeting occurred just last month in the Beijing semifinals. Tomas Berdych won in three sets 6-4 4-6 6-1. Both guys have had their ups and downs this week, but on the whole Tsonga has had a better season and generally looked stronger over the past few tournaments.

Prediction: Tsonga def. Berdych, 3 sets

For those of you following the doubles, the semifinals are as follows.

Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes v. Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski

Max Myrni/Daniel Nestor v. Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan

Friday Funnies

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 17•11

This interview from the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai back in 2007 never fails to make me giggle in that “aww” kind of way.

Get Classy, London Style

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 17•11

Our favorite boys, and their favorite girls attended the World Tour Finals Gala last night. There were photos!!

 

Andy Murray attends the World Tour Finals Gala. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga attended the World Tour Finals gala after earning a place in the Top 8 for the second time in his career. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

Mardy Fish and his wife Stacey Gardner walk the red carpet like old pros. Mardy is making his first appearance in the World Tour Finals. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

No one likes the camera quite as much as World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his longtime girlfriend Jelena Ristic. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

David Ferrer arrives at the World Tour Finals Gala. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

Rafael Nadal and girlfriend Maria "Xisca" Perello glam it up for a night on the town. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

Roger Federer was flying solo and looking good last night at the ATP World Tour Finals Gala. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

Tomas Berdych trotted out his new lady Ester Satorova for the first time at the Gala. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/AFP/Getty Images.

 

Boy looking classy. Photo from the ATP website.

 

Andy Murray getting his speech on. Photo from the ATP Website.

 

All 8 contenders pose under the stars. Photo from the ATP Website.

Peek Inside Your Favorite Player’s Locker

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 16•11

Last year, the final 8 all painted self portraits, with paint (tennis) balls and auctioned them off for charity. This year, our favs will be auctioning off the contents of their lockers. Those of you lucky enough to be in London this week will get a preview of the goods which will be on show in the O2 Fan Zone. If you don’t have the time to take an over-night to London, but you’ve still got the dough to bid, here’s a peek at what each of the players will be offering. Oh, and don’t worry, those of you who spend what will likely be copious amounts of money to purchase one of these lockers will also be supporting a good cause. 50% of the winning bids will go towards the Save The Children Charity and the other 50% will go towards the player’s charity of choice.

Novak Djokovic (Novak Djokovic Foundation)

  • Autographed Sergio Tacchini clothes
  • Adidas shoes
  • Head Racquet
  • Bag
Rafael Nadal (Rafa Nadal Foundation)
  • Autographed Nike Clothes
  • Nike Shoes
  • Babolat Racquet
Andy Murray (World Wildlife Fund)
  • Autographed Adidas Clothes
  • Adidas Shoes
  • HEAD racquet
Roger Federer (Roger Federer Foundation)
  • Autographed Nike Clothes
  • Nike Bag
  • Wilson Racquet
David Ferrer (Save the Children)
  • Autographed Lotto Clothes
  • Lotto Shoes
  • Prince Racquet
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Attrap’ la Balle)
  • Autographed Adidas Clothes
  • Babolat Racquet
Tomas Berdych (Paraple Centrum)
  • Autographed Nike Clothes
  • HEAD Racquet
Mardy Fish (Mardy Fish Foundation)
  • Autographed K-Swiss Clothes
  • Wilson Racquet
These auctions will start in reverse ranking order, so Mardy’s stuff will available first and the auctions will begin a half hour apart. The auctions will begin on November 19th at 5pm GMT and end on November 28th.
I just hope that the lucky winner of Murray’s locker receives one of these.

Sorana Cirstea Dances Into the Off-Season

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 01•11

Romanian tennis star Sorana Cirstea won’t be lounging around during her off season. She announced that she would be participating in her home country’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.”

ITS OFFICIAL now,I can finally say it!!!Romanian "DANCING WITH THE STARS" here I come:) 1st day of rehearsals today,can't wait :D
@sorana_cirstea
Sorana Cirstea

The Romanian version of the show is entitled “Dansez Pentru Tine,” which airs on Pro TV. In a slight twist of the American version, the stars choose a charitable cause to represent. On her facebook page, Sorana did not reveal her cause, but did say she was excited about being able to raise money for a humanitarian cause.

This isn’t Sorana’s first foray into the world of dance. Check out this Xperia Hot Shots video from earlier this year.

Anyway, if you’re in Romania, you’ll be able to watch Sorana’s performance on Friday, November 4th. For the rest of you, I make no guarantees, but I believe you can live stream the show on the Pro TV website or watch video clips later in the week.

****Updated

Watch the first clips of Sorana and her dance partner here.

 

Friday Funnies

Written By: achangeofends - Oct• 28•11

The ladies in Istanbul better watch out for Aga. She’s a tricky one.

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