Practice Porn: Kimmy, Nole & Rafa

January 25, 2011

Being a grown up has its side effects, one of which being that unlike my teenage fantasy, I can’t spend every day drinking beer surrounding by sparkling sunny blue courts. Instead I have fancy grown up things to attend to, like, oh yeah, being a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding, and earning a living by actually doing my job.

That being said, even when I was out of commission, L didn’t disappoint. She headed down to Melbourne Park on Sunday for a vamos and an ajde, a stroll and a squizz, and took me lots of gorgeous, lovely, blurry pics. She also has the low-down on Day 7 at the Open.

Here’s what Leah saw:

Kimmy

The story, in her words:

“Nice to see her up close, she’s tall but i was shocked and heard people around me saying the same thing that it was strange that she went straight in without signing and it was her day off, peeps unimpressed but we must not make unfair judgements and instead assume that Jada was actiing up and throwing a tanti that only Mummy could give her brekky…”

Next up… Nole

“We found nole warming up for his match watched closely by Papa Djoe.
Was pretty quiet until ch 7 film crew rocked up, so he started hamming it up for the cameras as he does. He and Marjion were playing a practice set or something and he suddenly got very vocal when the cameras arrived. Didn’t sign as it was match day.” Naturally.
And the piece de resistance….
Rafa
“Because he’s awesome he practices with different Australian juniors.” In this case, the lovely Ben Mitchell was the lucky guy. “He literally was starry eyed and you can see how excited he was about practicing with Rafa, he must be a homeboy bec the guy behind me called his friend and was like “mate where are you, I’m watching your brother have a hit.”
“Rafa’s full entourage was there, Papa, Tio Toni, hot spanish guys
He treated the crowd to two shirt changes, reapplied his sunscreen because he’s a good boy who was raised well,

he and his team did some weird kicking tennis balls game that they all got very into but the crowd just tried to understand.
He then signed for everyone bec he’s rafa and he’s the best..”

 


Rally for Relief: Pro Version

January 18, 2011


Contrary to popular opinion, some bright spark actually thought that we’d want to see some real tennis at Rally for Relief – rather than, you know, our favourite people in the universe show us their personalities for a change.

So after the kids went off court, it was time for the grownups to turn up, bringing their A-Games with them. I find it hilarious that Numbers 1 & 2 in the world Vera and Caro weren’t invited, instead leaving us clear Aussie hometown favourites Sammy and Kimmy. Or, you know, it could’ve been part of the “keep-Kim-as-far-away-as-possible-from-Lleyton” plot – though Brian and Bec appeared to be sitting none too far from one another at a certain point. PS: If you know me, you know I don’t bash Caro. I don’t! But damn, did anyone else find her extraordinarily irritating at R4R? Actually, I know what you’re going to say – it wasn’t extraordinary. But oh dear, it was for me. I defend that girl all year round. Then she goes and wiggles her bum and catwalks for Nole? Sad. But I digress.

Are you there, Gd? It’s me, Sammy.

Rafa playing tennis. It’s why they pay him the big bucks.

Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters

Rafa and Kim trying out the dynamics of male-female relationships. Apparently they’re both really good at it.

Rafael Nadal

Rafa still not grasping the concept of photography from the other side of the lense.

Roger FedererFed sitting around looking suave, which is why they pay HIM the big bucks.

Rafa on top. (If that comment were reversed and uttered by a Fed lover, I’d be pissed. So apologies.)

Very Freudian, I’m sure.

Awesome, Awesomer, Awesomest.

 

Pics: @rishegee. Please link me and notify me when reposting. Thanks.


Your job is easier

January 18, 2011

Like any good exho featuring the hilarious antics of Andy Roddick (I’m actually being serious), there comes the predictable umpire/linesman ribbing, and today was no exception. Andy was insistent on proving that the linesman’s job is easier, and even had him come up and serve for us.

Between tennis players posing as catwalk models (Caro), in the photographer’s pit (Nole and Rafa), calling lines (Vika and Andy), playing soccer (Nole and Muzza), being a proud father (oh wait… that’s Lleyton), and even baseball (Andy), the guys tried to prove to us again and again that they’re good for anything but playing tennis.

But we know the truth, sez we. You kids are tennis players, and here’s the Class of 2011 picture. Stop giggling.

Rally for Relief Stars

Like any good wedding photographer, I did the bit where you zoom in bit by bit.

 

Courier, Lleyton, Rafter, Murray, Ivanovic

Courier’s sad because he’s not with his best mate “Rog”. Why does he call him that?

Vera, Caro, Rafa, Andy Roddick, Kim

Ah, the racquet clutch. Perfect defensive position without looking too “arms-crossed” in an awkward situation. Like when you and your numerous “classmates” are forced to lineup for a cheesy pic. Why clasp each other’s stomachs and kiss on cheek politely if you can’t even put an arm around for a photo op?

Roddick, Clijsters, Henin, Federer, Stosur

Obviously, Roger has the friendly arm-wrap down. Dammit. He’s touching Sam. HE’S TOUCHING MY GIRL!

Tennis stars at Rally for Relief

the family all together

Looking gorgeous and playing gorgeous tennis vs looking at gorgeous pictures? My job is easiest.


A Cultural Experience: Sporting USA

April 13, 2010

A Fish Out of Water

By Dr Suess

In Australia, when little children are born, their parents and family gather around the cradle and croon to them football anthems as lullabies. They dress them in team colours and indoctrinate them with “Go Tigers!” before they are old enough to speak. In the sporting capital of the world, the G (MCG, of course) is hallowed turf, and weekends between March and September are sacrosanct for playing, watching, analysing and attending football matches. Beer in hand, pies chowed down, Melbourne is the sporting capital and I am so proud to be a resident. The Australian Open is no different – or at least, ten pages of this blog acknowledge it to be so – and being an Aussie girl with Aussie tastes, I’ve never known any alternative.
So for this reason I was rapt when on my New York sojourn back in March (I do know its mid April, but there’s a time difference, okay?) I noticed on the streets of Manhattan little WTA-green coloured banners advertising the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean Cup. Not one to miss some live tennis, particularly if it entails a cultural experience, I hightailed it to Madison Square Garden to see how the Yanks do it.
I do want to mention that I found it difficult securing a partner – tennis nerds are often alone in this big bad world – and that’s where the tennisaholic’s best friend, Twitter, stepped in. Shoutout here to the lovely @nichut who set me up with the fabulous @linzsports, as well as the gorgeous @luciahoff, who came to sit with me and keep me company and listen to me utter aloud all the things I would have tweeted if AT&T weren’t so evil about overseas people purchasing data plans.

The whole evening was a cultural experience in a thousand different ways. Aside from the fact it wasn’t a proper tourney – they had mini set ‘semis’ then a final match – I was in a foreign country, in what was technically “Hallowed Turf” – Madison Square Garden.

The match up put me in a conundrum straight away – I was only there to support my adopted sisters, the so-called “Aussie Ana” and “Aussie Kimmy” who we’ve taken on due to their propensity to dating the gorgeous men who hail from our motherland. Kimmy might’ve left Lleyton and his golf clubs behind, but she’s our girl through and through – oh and my first tennis autograph, let’s not forget. Ana’s relationship with Adam is a sore point for those who believe he’s lapped her concentration and she needs to make Nole babies, but it hasn’t stopped the crowds at Melbourne Park adopting her as one of our own. You know we like the hot ones best. Having the two matched up against each other meant I’d have to go Team Sveta in the second semi. Which was totally fine with me. I mean, have you all SEEN her Twitter? It gives me good Russian practice, too.

I suggested to LP as I was departing that an Aussie flag would be nice, for our girls. This was the first of many texts, as being at the tennis without my lovely sister was a cultural experience on its own. LP, a veteran of the US Open herself, was honest about the Yank Sitch (or YS, I as I will refer to it from hereon). Apparently, despite the strategically located stars on the Australian flag, there are many in the North who believe New Zealand, Aussie and UK flags are all the same. No loss, then.

I went before the match to pick up my tennis snacks – an art at Australian sporting events, where meat pies are traditional, concession stands charge a fortune, and my sister M has trained me in bringing picnic baskets from home. So I was rudely surprised when the MSG guards ruined my buzz of “Wow, this is it, Madison Square Garden!” with, “Miss, you can’t take that in here.” My supplications fell on deaf ears and I found myself scoffing my burger and Chiko roll (it wasn’t called a chiko roll but had the same stuff in it, Americans are such copycats) outside the gates before I wisened up and hid them in my voluminous winter coat and assorted weather protective gear. Ah, sometimes I’m slow.

I found my seat and noticed the elderly couple next to me speaking Russian. This is tennis, where you make friends with strangers, so I asked them where they’re from. “New Jersey,” they tell me. “Oh…” I’m shattered. Was hoping they could help me cheer for Sveta with some Davay. I tell them this, and they admit to originating from Russia sometime in the last century. They’re unimpressed with my Davay Sveta cheers for the rest of the night.
I found the lovely Linz, who stood with me while the lights went down, and the music came up. I’m the fish out of water now and it shows. I kept jabbering as the Americans turn all solemn and put their hands on their hearts. Their hands, on their hearts. And the lights are down. There is a spotlight, on the tennis court. A spotlight. Sorry. Needed to repeat that.
The girls come on court, and there are spotlights on their chairs. The player chair, where they’re busy rummaging around their tennis bags and doing all the normal things players do. Except the lights are off, and the cameras are going off, so there are flashbulbs all over the court.

I am in for a totally cultural experience. Instead of Craig Willis with his “Sony Ericsson WTA Tour” voice, going up at the end, I have someone asking me to give a warm Madison Square Garden welcome. I feel like I’m cheating on Rod Laver Arena.

Play begins, and while Ana’s form is not something worth commenting on, she is looking very purdy. The ballkids, on the other hand, not so much. They look like they’ve swallowed some of those magic pills from Alice in Wonderland. They are HUGE. Grown ups. When they need to catch the ball, they jump up and catch it like basketball players.

An announcement is made telling people they can keep the balls that are hit into the stands. The lovely Lynn, always a favourite umpire of mine, starts explaining the rules like we are in kindergarten.

Ana’s ball toss is retarded. I want to buy her a serve for Christmas and wrap it up with a bow. At this time I noticed this was my first time seeing the lovely Aussie Ana. At home, I steer clear of the Serbian army and the Aussie perves who flock to Margaret Court Arena to ogle her beauty. Here, I’m just about the only Ajde-er to be heard in the stadium.

I took a moment to look at my surrounds. My knowledge of Madison Square Garden for many years was limited to a random movie I watched as a kid with Whoopee Goldberg where she tries to coach a basketball team. I was in the arena and fascinated. First of all, the colours. It reminded me a bit of Hiisense arena. Just a little prettier, with plum and teal – my two favourite colours. Very very nice. Then I went on a perusal of the snack bar and discovered Disneyland. They have potato knishes! And crackerjacks, like in the song. And a real live cocktail bar. The hot dogs in America are even different. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I’m salivating but not particularly interested. There are far more interesting goings on down on the court, where IVAN IS IN THE HOUSE!

I have never seen Ivan before, so this is tres tres exciting for me. The Hall of Fame induction is on, and I’ve taken it upon myself to scream extraordinarily loudly for the Aussies being honoured, in particular the wonderful Woodies. LP, via text, seems to think the Woodies are in the house too. I explain that they are at home taking care of the kiddies who are playing Davis Cup this weekend. Even though it’s Fitzy’s job, we know they like to help out.

Then the last of culinary excitements presents itself: The people coming round serving beer. I can’t even comprehend such an action at the MCG, where they’re trying to limit beer sales if anything. They also play Lady Gaga here. Is Australia the only place where there is no music at change of ends? I kind of enjoy the random commentary, songs and shouting of the RLA/MCA crowds. I can’t imagine music creating the diversion it does here.

The match starts to empty out and suddenly I feel like it’s Rod Laver at 3am all over again. The crowd is majorly behind Venus which is sad for me who is a total Kimmy fanatic. But I do have to say, to echo Linz, how incredible it is seeing everyone out there supporting Venus and getting into something like women’s tennis because of her immense marketability.

Venus beating Kimmy isn’t even too bad to handle when Mary Joe comes out to present the trophies. For some reason I really like this lady, and don’t get to see too much of her in my land. She’s got pretty red heels on, and it seems sacrilegious to see her trotting on hard court with them on. But the girls make lovely speeches, and Venus is exhausted by happy. So I’m cheering Mary Joe and Kimmy, and the rest of the depleted stadium is cheering Venus.

Only final observation? Why do foreign players always say “Congrats?” Is Congratulations not in the elocution lessons repertoire?


Moments of Joyness

February 2, 2010

Well its once thing to hang up your sunhat (yes, I did purchase an Australian Open branded sunhat on one emergency sunny afternoon) and say, tata to a summer of tennis, it’s time to reset our body clocks and watch random overseas tournaments on livestream with Portuogese commentary. I mean, I will most certainly be falling into that category in a week or so.

But for now, we’re Aussie girls, and we don’t get tennis very often. (Watch us count the days to Davis Cup against – that’s right – Taiwan – in March.) So we’re going to milk this a little while longer, with a few more recaps and photos from the summer of tennis.

It doesn’t feel like only three short weeks since the girlies and I loaded up on sunscreen, confirmed our (MY!) credit card details on Ticketmaster and packed our everpresent “tennis bags” for what promised to be an awe-inspiring summer of tennis.

Here are some of our favourite moments from what has been an incredible whirlwind, of train rides and ticket “appropriation” and umpire chasing and sunburn and phone-charging in RLA concourse and toilet queues and big screen cheering and Aussie Aussie Aussie and hot Spaniards and live bands and IBM Slamtracker and EPIC EPIC TENNIS.

It started out with Hit for Haiti, where we remembered just why we love this sport, even if we only get it once a year. It was described so perfectly by one of the tennis writers I read avidly but who’s name I can’t recall, who reminded me it serves those tennis geeks among us who just love to remember that these people actually have, you know, personalities. And stuff.

Hit for Haiti

The teams squaring off on each other...

Kim & Andy

Kimmy & Andy

Team FabulousSo we had Kimmy and Andy sizing up Rafa, Novak, Serena and… who’s that in the yellow? Why it’s L L Lleyton… Awkward, anyone?

It has been uttered, perhaps blasphemously, that Hit for Haiti was probably the best part of the whole two weeks. I’m inclined to agree. Here’s hoping they do the same every year.

What else happened during the week?

– We nearly melted from the rain, and we got to know Little Bernie just a wee bit better….

Day 1 brought all the rain... and the dressed up awesome people of Australis to MCA.

We became riveted by the racquet stringers in the middle of garden square

And watched “our Jelena” crack it, despite being surrounded by a Stadium full of Love (true story).

On Day 2 the sun was shining, so we abandoned our post in the RLA concourse and went out to find adventures. Which we did. For example, one particularly hot, Spanish adventure on Court 16, who proceeded to sign LP’s tennis ball binoculars, my AO program, and essentially our hearts for good.

And our favourite celebrity on the circuit….. FETTE TONI!!

Some of his mates joined him too.

We watched the Magician’s Swan Song…

Caught up with Target-wearing Casey

Sang “we just had a barbecue noweh, noweh” and other assorted Greek favourites with Marco

Located our favourite umpire…

And watched Soda Water get bitten by of all things, a Granola Bar!! Happiness and Joy!

Found some hunky Spaniards on Court Fourteen, always a favourite location:

And most importantly, harnessed the power of DAVAI MIKHAIL to prevail over intense fifth set cramps.

To be continued


In case you missed it…

January 18, 2010

Today’s charity match Hit for Haiti was INCREDIBLE.

Your new favourite bloggers queued up at Fed Square at the ungodly hour of 9am on a Sunday, raced to RLA where the queues were supposedly shorter, headed home and then back for another hour in queues, only to catch the best seats in the house for what was undoubtedly the best start to a slam in history. In fact, probably the best match of a slam ever… not sure if any of this week’s activities can top this!

Let’s start with the fact that all our faves were present. No one hadn’t been catered for, the lineup was massive. Andy, Rafa, Roger and Lleyton. Kimmy, Serena, and Sammy. Even Bernard hopped in for a serve or three. Next, the amazing camaraderie between the players. The hilarious banter. The snippets of gorgeous tennis they showed us to preview what we have coming up over the next two weeks. It made me wish players would be miked up more often… some golden highlights included:

Andy and Rafa debating over who should serve, who could do it better.

Kim to Novak, re. Serena’s serve: “now you know what we girls have to put up with!”

Roger to everyone, re. Rafa “He’s going to go the backhand then the forehand, then he’ll take it cross court then….” Telling everyone Rafa’s strategies.

Roger to everyone, “He usually plays that one as a half volley…” clearly he knows his opponent all too well!

Rafa, “I can’t serve this one, I don’t have the confidence.”

Rafa re. Tomic, “Let him serve, he just won the US Open, I haven’t won a tournament for….” Starts counting months.

Novak “Yeah I don’t know if I can make it through I might have to retire…”

Kim to Novak, “Ladies first… in that case Novak can serve.”

Rafa “Novak? Should I challenge?”

Roger, “I guess we can use hawkeye… we know that machine doesn’t work anyway. Sorry, I had to get it out!”

Kim to Serena, “Only 121? Come on!”

Andy to Roger: “how you feeling roger? Nervous?” as he prepares to serve. Roger: “The usual”.

More to come…


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