Olympics Practice

March 12, 2011

Has anyone else looked at the Mens dubs draw for Indian Wells and noticed a scent of something slightly Davis-Cuppy and highly Londoney?

Looks like all the boys have gotten together with their countrymen for what looks to me like a serious Olympics practice time. Seriously, 15 out of 32 teams are all patriotic and homeboyish.

I mean, even Fed is doing it with his mate Stanley, and we know they only do that when there’s a chunky piece of gold necklace on the line.

Spain has about seventeen viable teams, though the only to win a title this year were Tommy Robredo and Granola Bar. Rafa is back with Marc Lopez, provider of doubles titles. Nico and Ferru have teamed up, Montanes is with GGL, and Fernando Verdasco is – not with his usual boytoy bestie Feli Lopez, but Marrero. Seriously? There goes the Davis Cup practiceness.

Other partnerships? Let’s go. Team GB has the Muzza Bruzzas; and Team America has Quizner and the Brybros. Boring.

The Polish mafia are together as always with Frysternberg and Matkowski, and old Israeli chaverim Yoni and Andy have reunited. Julian Benneteau is missing his DC partner Llodra, who’s ignored the theme and stuck with Ziki, but he’s teamed up with Gasquet instead for some Frenchie fun. Cilic and Karlovic are putting every umpire’s tongue to the test, and there’s even a Brasilian team I have honestly never heard of – Soares and Melo? Finally, the Indian Express are still on the Team Reunited Tour, Pico is Argey Bargeying it up with Chela, and the best part – we get the King and Queen of Karaoke Awesomeness, Nole and Troicki.

Lots of bromance, lots of besties, and lots of patriotism in the air. Tastes like a World Cup but I see five rings in all sorts of pretty primary colours.

LONDON 2012, BABYPIES.

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Wild Thing, I Think I Love You

December 23, 2010

With all the chat going on about wildcards and those that are left (Yes, there are a lot of lovely Aussie boys at challenger-level seeking WCs, and yes, it’s a shame that some have to miss out. Personally I believe a few of them – ahem hem Bernieboy – are capable of doing it through qualies, but that’s enough from me.) and let’s move on to who is actually getting them.

Exciting news today that the French reciprocal is going to hilarious hottie Benoit Paire. Ranked 152nd, the kid’s got game, but that’s highly irrelevant when more importantly for the tennis world, he is brimming with personality and has the looks to match.

Benoit Paire at US Open 2010

Snuggle up, children, for some eye candy of the day and a bednight story from Rishe G. Those who followed my USO exploits may be familiar with this Frenchie for the heartache he put me through one cloudy Friday afternoon in Flushing Meadows, where he stole my heart – or more likely, ripped it away from the Spanish Adonis across the net, who was magically entrancing the gaggle of ladies on the left sideline (the ball was called good). I refer, of course, to round two, when he pushed Feli to five and had us in hysterics. Falling over theatrically and swearing in French at your coach is kinda funny, but kinda juvenile at a Grand Slam event. Motioning to the heavens, the earth and your audience and commentating on every move? It’s bloody gold. Mimicking our cheers of “Lopez, Lopez” complete with eyerolls and carrying on a French conversation as if we were in a Paris cafe had this boy on my list, even if I had to make sure he didn’t beat Feli in the process. Happiness abounds. Feli made it through, Benoit is our new Frenchie fave, and guess who’s coming to Melbourne?
Benoit Paire on-court antics
Benoit Paire, mid-service


Can You See Anything From the Back Row of the Australian Open?

December 22, 2010

Yesterday, this was one of my search engine terms:

And my heart just went out for the poor soul who typed that into a search engine and came across, of all expert webpages, my humble little site.

So let me honour this lovely visitor by divulging everything there is to know about attending AO, and let quell his/her fears in one word: YES.

Yes, you can see from the back row in the Australian Open. Yes, you can see from pretty much anywhere you get seats, even the nosebleeds. Excepting Hiisense (not a favourite of mine, with a few awkward spots blocked by railings and whatnot), you are basically guaranteed a great view wherever you sit.

Don’t believe me? Allow me to show you:
Australia Day at the Australian Open 2009

That, dear friends, is the view we had from the corner of Rod Laver Arena on Australia Day, 2009. It was retirement day; when first Vika Azarenka decided to get sick halfway through kicking Serena’s ass (even extracting some profanity, we love a code violation from Alison Lang); then La Monfils couldn’t make it past bestie Simon due to a bum wrist. The final match of the day was Nadal/Gonzales, and there’s nothing a like bit of “chi chi chi, le le le” to make the nosebleeds feel as good as the box. Honestly, we saw great, and I just want to tell this lovely visitor of mine that he/she is in for a fabulous time. In fact, we were next to a little camera in that back corner, and from then on any shot on TV reminded us that it was coming from “Our Camera!”

So do yourself a favour and get over there. Or have I not explained myself clearly enough?


Fb.Me

December 19, 2010

All the cool kids are doing it these days, so I figured we should move this blog into the land of The Facebook, where uploading pictures is as easy as a click and you can all share your wondrous brilliance right back at me.

So check out the Court Thirteen Facebook page, and while you’re there you can see the treat that is pictorial goodness.

Seventy-three tasty images, fresh from M’s camera and my iPhone, taken at the Australian Open 2010. They may be a little grainy, but the moments are pure priceless.

Let us know what you think.


Fresh Tennis, It Does Exist

December 19, 2010

I lied.

At the end of my last post, I was all “no more tennis until next season”, boo hoo, but I will admit, hand on my heart, that I lied.

Sure, the days of poring over pictures from glam player parties, skimming endless postmatch pressers and waking up on Sunday mornings, half hung over, trying to catch a final are over. But what what what has been happening in my spiritual home this week?

None other than the Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs, which can mean only one thing: January is in the air.

Less than thirty days off, and I can already smell the sunscreen and the chiko rolls. Richmond station is lying open in wait and the blue signs are already going up all over town. Hughesy and Kate are in on the action and I can bet you the ads are already up all over Aussie radio.

I’m freezing away in Brooklyn but in Melbourne the sun is shining. Australia’s brightest and best have convened on Melbourne Park, and the Wildcard Playoff is underway.

All of our faves were there and I’d like to give a shoutout to the lovely Ronnie, tennis buddy extraordinaire, who made his way down to watch our girls and boys in play.

Kudos as well to the fabulous people at Tennis Australia, who streamed (and are still streaming!) the whole shebang online for those of us who couldn’t bask in the sunshine, hail and thunder and check out real! live! tennis that matters! even during the off-season.

For those of you who didn’t watch, here’s a little bit of what happened:

– The boys played a 24 strong tournament.
Bernie didn’t play. People are upset about that, just like they’re upset about everything he does.
– We had lots of familiar faces. For those of you who like to haunt the outer courts during the AO, cheering for any wildcarded Aussie dubs team or junior in sight, some of these names will be familiar to you. I’m looking at you, Sean Berman.
Challenger fans wet their pants with excitement. Tennis that matters, with challenger-level players? Pass me the smelling salts. My Twitter feed has given me hope in the human race outside the top 100.
– Biggest upset: Carsten Ball. He’s on our Davis Cup team, but looks like all the other young ‘uns are also hungry and hitting big. I’m focusing on the positive here: Nice big talent pool we have?
– Most of the top seeds made it through, reminding me that yes, this is men’s tennis after all. Welcome to the final, Marinko Matosevic and Pete Luczak. Looch reminding me that yes, it was worthwhile for me to stand out in the hot hot heat cheering him on back in Flushing Meadows. Because seriously, the man plays mean tennis. And Marinko giving us hope for a generation.

Next, on the ladies side:
– The ladies played a round robin that for those of you who struggle at the YECs and WTFs, forget it. I struggled on this one, but I can tell you this:
– It’s refreshing having the ‘hover-at-the-edges-of-the-top-hundy-for-most-of-this-year‘ girls aka Anastasia Rodionova and Jarmila Groth well ensconced in automatic entry territory. It’s given a chance to the other girls to come through and get a chance at the wildcard, including hover-at-the-edges-of-the-top-hundy-at-year-end girls Alicia “Alicia Alicia Alicia, Alicia Alicia” Molik and Jelena “Why do I love you so much” Dokic. Comeback Queens, apparently.
– The semis were a ripper lineup, with Roland Garros Qualifier Queen Sophie Ferguson up against Dinara-Scarer Olivia Rogowska; and abovementioned Our Leesh and Our Jelena battling it out.
– Congrats to Olivia and Jelena for making the finals, and now, let us switch on the livestream and see how it all pans out.
– Aussie Aussie Aussie! Nuff said.

Bring on January.


There’s room for you in here too, Alicia

May 3, 2010

This week’s WTA rankings are out, and in lieu of any exciting movement on the boys’ side, things are very exciting for the Aussie Ladies.

Despite losing the final in Shtootgart to Justine, Carlos and the Allez Machine, Sam has now reached a career high of #8 in the career – and equal best Aussie since Alicia Molik, who reached the same place on the charts in February 2005.

That’s not all – Alicia is making a great steady climb up the rankings, having entered the top 100 last week and now sitting just under Rodi. According to this fabulous article from the WTA website (click here), Alicia is “on the ascent” – from here, the only way is up. Most interesting to note, she is Number 41 in the Race – a number I’d never paid much attention to in the past, but one which says a lot about how far she’s come since her comeback.

All this makes me think Our Leesh could be back up there in Sam’s side of town at some point too – after all, it is the WTA. Look at that top 10 – move over, girls, and make some room for Leesh. As for Sam? Top 5, baby.


Nole: It Must Be Love

April 14, 2010

Those of you who have been with me from the start may recall that my sisters, M & LP, are my premier tennis partners and in fact the original tennis fans of this family. They may not contribute to this blog physically, but they are influential in the tennis outcomes of this family, and the Nole Love is no exception.

LP will tell you the story of Nole hugging her but that is for a different day and time. This is about Kooyong, and a Day in the Life of Stalking Nole.

First of all, all Non-Nole Pics have been condensed into here

It started at his match, where we lined up to watch him walk in with Tommy. I was desperate for Tommy’s attention – LP was all over Nole.

He played Tommy, and then the stalkerage attempts began.

Signing her tennis ball did not suffice. LP was on a mission, and she found the perfect partner to join her.

After following Nole back to the clubhouse, he was discovered to be pumping those muscles in the gym upstairs. Note the one way glass up on the first floor? He was there all right, because a crowd soon gathered and the Djoker had a grand old time waving at his fans in a queenly fashion. (This was the grass of Kooyong of course, it totally fit.) Most people gave up after a few minutes (I did after a few seconds – Fernando was on court, I have my priorities) but LP and Miss Novak persevered. They even made the lovely signs you see above.

So it didn’t take long for the below video to happen. Yes, we are the girls yelling. And our accents are Aussie. And Nole, totally, loved us.

MVI_6861

As expected.

For more Nole pics, try this


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