Fair Point, Dave.

April 14, 2011

It’s Media Day for Fed Cup! Yay!

Aside from providing lots of photos of my favorite non-Eastern-European-tennis-playing-ladies in adorably unflattering gold tracksuits (why can’t we take the green side of green-and-gold more seriously, for reals), Tennis Australia works really hard to put together videos for us of press conferences and whatnot. You’ll also have a chance to play “pick-the-accent” of our players and coach to determine international influences. Hint: There are many.

According to Dave Taylor, Australian Team Fed Cup Coach (and coach of another lady you might know, Ms Samantha Stosur), we’re not to worry about Sam skipping out on a return to Oz to play for her country, opting to strap on a helmet for the barrage of ranking points that are about to fly on her head if she doesn’t gear up pretty quick (I’m viewing it as when you’re trying to pull out one board game from underneath a stack on the shelf at the top of the cupboard, and they’re all about to come flying over your head… anyone? OK…) by staying in Europe to get ready for clay season.

And rightfully so. We must chillax. Stubbsy has retired, Jelena Dokic is just plain tired, and Sammy is doing what any top-10 player would do in her position: Avoiding an extremely exhausting and difficult ordeal that tends to take more than a day or two to recover from, in order to maintain her level – in fact, at this stage, it’s just about living up to it. No blameskies here. To quote DT, Sam’s played ties for the last nine years, except for when she had Lyme Disease. That’s a helluvalotta patriotism all stacked up nicely for London 2012.

(Read more about it at The Age)

Though this brings in a question which the good journalistic folks at The Australian have dared to breach: Who decided to have the tie this week, anyway, and what’s up with that whole home-and-away thing?

Who woulda thunk you’d ever hear me complain that there is world-class tennis being played in a small local court not far from my home (okay, measure in kms and Kooyong and Melbourne Park are probably closer, but Glen Iris just feels all homey and local neighbourhoodish), which is why I’m not bashing Home and Away, at least not right now. But the timing is difficult, and as someone who’s braved the Australia-to-Europe-via-Asia flight once or seven times, I can whinge gracefully and tell you that it bloody sucks. I know tennis players travel all the time and are expected to be superhuman wonderpeople with tiger blood that’s immune to any type of.. oh wait, what was that, Serena? Anyway. Heading over to the other side of the world at the start of clay season is tough on anyone, and for Sam, it’s a completely respectable decision to opt out.

Much appreciation to Jarka and Rodi for making the trek over, despite both having bits of serious defense to do on clay next month. And we know Sophie Ferguson’s a gun on clay, so it’s great to have her on board the team.

And isn’t it lovely having Sally Peers join us! This girl is adorable. I can’t wait for you to get to know her. Girly group hug, everyone!

Photo: Tennis Australia

Advertisements

That’s One.

April 6, 2011

Remember this lady?

Anastasia Rodionova has won her first main draw match of the season in Charleston at the Family Circle Cup, defeating Zuzana Ondraskova of the Czech Republic, 4-6 6-1 6-2, in the first round. Her only previous match win this year came in the first round of qualifying in Doha, against Yung-Jan Chen, before she proceeded to lose in the next round to Peng Shuai (Shuai Peng?). As a voluntary resident of the greatest country in the world, a new Aussie citizen, Fed Cup team member and perhaps a co-dweller of my own lovely Melbourne suburb, Rodi is a lady I like to support, so haters to the left, please.

In other Aussie Charleston news that I will mention really briefly because if I don’t talk about it it didn’t happen, the newly resurgent Jelena Dokic lost her first round match to Anna Tatishvilli this morning, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Sam Stosur, hope of the nation, has a first round bye before she runs off to defend her title and another gazillion points on the dirt. Also something I’d prefer not to talk about.

So, how about Rodi, hey! Done, done and onto the next one! Woot woot! Aussie Aussie Aussie! Sigh.

Ok, I’ll shut up now.


We’re Gawing to Glen Oiiiris

March 12, 2011

I could say that out loud, but for some reason, spelling the Aussie pronunciation is just never gonna happen for me.

But, yeah, Fed Cup World Group play-off, happening, in Glen Iris! Woooot.

Australia will be playing Ukraine – as we did last year, come to think of it. Then it was a quick and simple 5-0 situation, and we basically had Sam and Rodi take care of bizness entirely. The team hasn’t been named yet, but Jelena should be back on, Jarka is obviously killing it these days…. and I won’t mention a certain *sniff* awesome doubles player who won’t be there *sniff sniff sniff* but seriously, Anastasia Rodionova, doubles specialist, right?

And it’s in GLEN BLOODY IRIS. WOOOOOOT.

I say that, of course, while I will be sadly shouting at my TV from my bed in Brooklyn, freaking out my neighbours with choice words thrown at the direction of the screen, while for the first time that I can recall, tennis will be played REALLY CLOSE TO MY OLD STOMPING GROUND.

Granted, Melbourne Park is an 18-minute-give-or-take zip from home, but that doesn’t count the insanity of parking and hiking from the parking spot. But no, Glen Iris Tennis Club is totes, totes doable. Like, basically backyard (not really, but I will pretend). Which means….

WAHHH. I WON’T BE THERE.

But – Awesomely enough – LP will most likely attend, and get this-

(whispers)

WE’RE PROBABLY GOING TO WIN.

DT thinks so, anyway.


Anyone else for a citizenship?

May 31, 2010

Week 1 of Roland Garros has been particularly exciting for the Aussie patriots among us – oh wait, that IS us. Because we’ve had two beautiful fairytale stories, and one of them isn’t over yet.

Earlier this year, Australia welcomed two new girls to our stable of tennis players. They’d both had the good fortune of learning to play and becoming professional in the greatest sport in the world – already a great start. Then, this profession enabled them to travel to the greatest country in the world – you may have heard of it, considering they play some rather important tournaments there. Then, they were privileged to fall in love with men from said country, which enabled them to receive citizenship to this fabulous nation.

So now we have Our Jarka, aka Jarmila Groth, and Our Rodi, aka Anastasia Rodionova, playing under the flag and making us proud. Anastasia has donned the Green and Gold for Fed Cup, and after her results this week, Jarmila can’t be far behind.

While Jarmila had to get past the one-legged Dinara-slayer Kimiko Date-Krumm, it was Rodi who had the real upset in the previous round by taking out the mild-mannered and elegant lady Bepa Zvonareva. Both girls met in the third round in what could only be considered fabulous for Australian tennis, yet meant that unfortunately only one could make it through.

Jarmila saw it out and is now one of only 4 wildcards in history to make it to the 4th round of Roland Garros. She faces the just-missed-out-on-seeding Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova in the 4th round… but we at Court Thirteen reckon she has a good chance of quarters… if not semis.

Which makes me ask all the other little boy tennis players out there in Aussieland… how about ensnaring some more hard-hitting, beautiful-looking, sweet-tweeting tennis playing lasses on tour? Citizenships available… we love our girls.


Kenny, Carlos and some Aussie Chicks

April 28, 2010

For those of you who can’t get enough of Aussie awesome (why do I hear crickets?), Tennis Australia have put together a gorgeous montage of Fed Cup pics, with background audio from “Rodi” and Sammy’s interviews.

Carlos Ramos was there, yo.

Stubbsy also blogged her experience, letting us know that “Our Stasi”‘s nickname is not, actually, Stasi, but “Rodi”. There ya go. Access her blogs here:

Stubbsy’s Blog, Part I
Stubbsy’s Blog, Part II
Stubbsy’s Blog, Part III
Stubbsy’s Blog, Part IV

There are also videos of each of the girls pre-tie on http://tennis.com.au


Australia: Yes, we’re bloody good.

April 26, 2010

Guess who’s back in the World Group, bitches!

Across rain, snow and ash, the Aussies all made it to Kharkov and the battle begun.

today at the draw ceremony Australia vs Ukraine  on Twitpic

Our new favourite Aussie, Anastasia finished off Alona Bondarenko yesterday to give us the lead over the Ukrainians. Sammy then looked after a little girl who’s name I can’t pronounce, but I will paste from the news just for validation. There it is. Mariya Koryttseva

Then we had a bit of a scary sitch with Sammy finding it difficult in the 3rd rubber against another Ukrainian girl – ok fine, back to pasting the name – Lyudmyla Kichenok – where the first set went to TB before Sammy took her out.

That puts us back in the World Group first time since 04 – back in the heyday of Alicia doing her thing – and gives us hopefuls the knowledge the sky’s the limit!

Fed Cup is also a time where the umpire stalkers among us go all out for Ramos Watch and Molina Search, as our favourite ITF employed umpires are finally among the livestreams. Unfortunately, I am yet to set sight of Molina, but a sneakily posted twitpic by New Favourite Aussie Anastasia leads me to believe Ramos is among good people – the Aussies in Kharkov, and the kangaroo. Apparently, contrary to popular opinion, his name is not Skippy – it is Kenny. Who’d’ve known?


Watch Your Backs, Bondarenkos

April 20, 2010

World Group, Here We Come!

According to the latest news from Tennis Australia, the Aussie team is all sorted for Fed Cup this weekend. I’m taking that to mean that all the girls now have a way of making it over to Kharkov – despite the fact that Stubbsy had a mild panic attack on Anastasia’s Facebook page the other day.

The dramas of making it tennis tournaments this upcoming week have been nicely covered on Twitter for those of us who feel that life outside a closed down airport just isn’t half the fun. It’s been relatively easy for the boys, who were in the neighbourhood anyway to make it a road or train trip and trundle through the the gorgeous scenery to reach Barca.

Not the same for the ladies, who will have to be anywhere and everywhere over the weekend for the Fed Cup. Vika’s whinge through her car service ride have made the annals of Twitter gold, and also reaffirmed the most important thing: The girl has an iPhone AND a Blackberry. Another piece of random news that we so love over here at Court 13.

So with A-Rad on her way, we just  need to make sure Sammy can pack that big silver cup in her wheelie and turn up to lead the team to victory. With Stubbsy and Alicia making up the rest of the team, all signs point toward what could be a happy shiny time for followers of Aussie tennis.

It finally looks like we have a team that can pull themselves together and get us the win. If Sammy isn’t too tired from the marathon she’s been running over the last week, she should be full of confidence to take on the Ukrainians and get the Aussies a shot back into the World Group team. After also being the first Aussie with 2 WTA titles in quite a few years (I believe Jelena Dokic would have been the last one), she’s made us so happy that it only seems fair that she takes it down the logical route and gets us back on the map, tennis-wise.
My lovely neighbour, Anastasia, who I still haven’t managed to meet down at the shops but will one day, will also be making her Fed Cup debut.

Alicia has made a steady if not spectacular comeback. Our favourite spokesmodel is back in the Top Hundy and even if there’s no Garnier face cream left, she looks pretty damn fantastic, as you do when your name is Alicia Molik.

And with Stubbsy and Sammy, together again as they belong, can anything stop us?

Ah, it’s these scary ladies:

Oops – I neglected to mention the most important team member. With this guy on board, the Bondage Sisters should be sent packing in no time at all.

YES, IT’S SKIPPY!

(Not Casey. She’s not coming this time, Mum said).


%d bloggers like this: