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


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.


That’s Girls, Plural

March 5, 2011

So my anti-jinx last night works, it seems. Instead of you guys getting to read my lovely, lyrical post on the joys of Jelena Dokic and the symbolic meaning of Malaysia, you got a nice fat grainy pic and the basic facts. I was devo’ed at my lack of apparent excitement for what is one of my favourite girls making serious headway in a tournament, but I was well rewarded.

In retribution, tennis decided to give me an antijinxical present and send Jelena not just to the quarters – oh no, that was yesterday – but move her to the SEMIFINALS TOO. She beat Bojangles, and plays Krajicek next. Not that rankings mean anything, but Jelena will be the favourite, having upset Frannie – yes, Schiavone – to get past the first round. Not a bad showing, ladylove.

Pic: Getty

Incidentally, I watched Krajicek play Sabine Lisicki in qualies at the AO, so here you go, that’s her:

Along with another lovely lady who was lurking on the other side of the draw, who had so far escaped my pen – not for being awesome, but for other, antijinxical purposes.

Purposes aside, it’s official, darling ladies and gents, lovers of all things Australian and tennis-y (that’s me and my sisters. Hey honeypies).

JELENA DOKIC and JARKA GROTH, both through to the semifinals in Malaysia. This is happening, peoples. It is such a happening situation that even the Herald Sun have woken from their tennis-free-slumber-outside-of-January and sought to inform the public of the excitement.

For those who need a catch-up, Jelena Dokic hasn’t been in a semifinal in seven years. Back then, I was in a travel-induced tennisy slumber so can’t comment on the last glimpse. But today’s glimpse? Is oh-so-lovely.

As for Jarka, she’s new to our shores but as she classily reminded us, she is most certainly not a tourist. Which is kinda handy, because Malaysia tourism were once hefty sponsors of certain wonderfully dark-hued football team. Not sure what that means, actually.

I’m not gonna say it, I’m not gonna say it, I’m not gonna say it….

Fine, I will. All-Aussie final, anyone? (Antijinxical spell, insert here).


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.


%d bloggers like this: