Very short week with the Davis Cup Final between Russia and the United States starting on Friday, November 30. I, for one, am totally neutral about this Final.
I'm also continuing my Best Photos of 2007 - WTA. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Murray Picks A Home Boy
Fresh from kicking Brad Gilbert to the curb Neal Harman reports that Andy Murray has started work with someone Pat Cash thought would be a good match for him.
Andy Murray has asked Miles Maclagan, the former Great Britain Davis Cup player who was born in Zambia of Scottish parents, to spend three weeks with him at a training camp in Florida with a view to joining the team designed to take the British No 1 to the next stage of his tennis development.
Maclagan flew to the United States yesterday, excited at the opportunity to get to know Murray better, getting used to his manner and his modus operandi as the 20-year-old prepares mind and body to embark on what is being billed as a great year of opportunity. If the two really hit it off — they have an excellent relationship already but one not tested by one working for the other — it could become a permanent arrangement.
Maclagan would offer a different approach. Quiet, unassuming but with a smashing manner and big heart, he could be the kind of person to bring the best out of Murray. And anyone whose parents’ names are Ramsay and Elsie ought to go down well in the Murray household.
Remarkably, in his column in The Sunday Times two years ago, Pat Cash, the former Wimbledon singles champion, suggested that the pair should link up. He wrote: “Some might view my tip as off the wall, but I would nominate Miles Maclagan, the former British Davis Cup player who is doing a good job coaching the highly ranked doubles duo of
Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett. Miles may not have been a great player, but few of the really top coaches managed to hit the high spots. However, he is hard-working, diligent, extremely aware technically and works closely with Moose Stevens, a former Aussie Rules footballer who is one of the best fitness experts on the tour. And he’s Scottish.”
So what will he do when Murray goes off the deep end? Slap him across the face with haggis?
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...
According to Mr. Federer being with Mirka has made him less self absorbed. It's apparently from that article back in April of this year but with many fans creating new nick names for him every day it's nice to know that the man called the Ego King is just a humble bloke who likes hanging out with his girl.
It's really Mirka, he explains, who has opened him up. He used to be self-absorbed, watching himself on tape, reliving every ball—it became something of a joke. "Playing tennis and watching myself play tennis was all I did." From there, he says, he graduated to video games—a habit he shares with Tiger Woods—which were almost an addiction for him. He liked the way they allowed him "to disappear." He would play Top Spin, Sega Sports Tennis. Sometimes he played virtual versions of his closest friends on the tour, Carlos Moya or Tim Henman. Otherwise he would play with his own "Federer" avatar. He has attempted to kick the habit. "It is not so much fun for Mirka," he says. He tries to go out and see whatever city they are in that week instead. "It is important that I do not send Mirka crazy by just obsessing about tennis." Or, you guess, himself.
Every fanboard has a discussion going about Rafa's foot injury and comments made by Toni Nadal making it appear that Rafa is walking with a cane and hobbling about. Apparently Toni expanded on the comments Rafa made in the interview posted here about his foot in an interview in a Mallorca newspaper. Here is the interview in Spanish.
Diario De Mallorca
And here is the part of the interview causing the uproar.
- Nadal jugó infiltrado la final de Roland Garros.
- Sí, por la lesión en el pie que desde 2005 tiene afectado.
- ¿Tiene cura?
- Ha de aprender a convivir con esta lesión, y ya hace dos años que convive.
- ¿Es grave?
- ¿Hasta qué punto?
- Prefiero no contestar. Es muy grave.
- ¿Pero peligra su carrera?
- (Pausa). Bueno, no lo sé. Que conteste el médico. Ha de jugar con muchas precauciones.
- ¿Pero es verdad que no puede correr?
- Es un poco más que eso.
- ¿Si tiene un problema tan grave en el pie no sería mejor jugar menos?
- De hecho juega menos. Acabamos contentos con la temporada, de la lesión y de todo. Ha jugado mejor y sus partidos han sido de menos intensidad. Y le ha ido bien.
- Federer juega mucho menos que Rafel.
- Es diferente. Es un tenista totalmente consolidado; Rafel tiene otro tipo de juego. El hecho fundamental es acortar la duración de los partidos, y lo hemos conseguido.
- ¿Jugará contra Perú en Copa Davis?
- La idea es jugar. Pero si gana en Australia y llega tocado habrá que pensárselo.
Here is a very poor machine translation but I think you'll get the point. Any native Spanish speakers are more than welcome to translate the above piece.
- Nadal played infiltrated the final of Roland Garros.
- Yes, of the foot injury that since 2005 has affected.
- Is there a cure?
- It must learn to live with this injury, and two years ago to live.
- Is it serious?
- To what extent?
- I prefer not to answer. This is very serious.
- But his career in jeopardy?
- (Pause). Well, I do not know. To answer the doctor. Has playing with a lot of precautions.
- But it is true that can not run?
- It is a little more than that.
- If I have a very serious problem in the foot it would be better to play less?
- In fact plays less. We just happy with the season, the injury and everything. He has played better and their parties have been less intensity. And he has fared well.
Federer plays-much less that Rafel.
- It's different. Tennis is a totally consolidated Rafel has another type of game. The bottom line is to shorten the length of games, and we succeeded.
- Does He will do against Peru in Davis Cup?
The idea is to play. But if he wins in Australia and comes to think there will be touched.
Note: In Catalan Rafa's name is Rafel.
By the way I thought you Uncle Toni groupies (you know who you are) would like this pic of Toni in the store his wife runs in Palma de Mallorca.
Regis Philbin, Tennis Phenom
Professional tennis players are rarely injured in matches during the off-season, but on Tuesday Venus Williams was left hobbling after playing doubles with talk show host Regis Philbin.
The match was aired on television Wednesday morning during Live with Regis and Kelly, only to have Williams admit that she pulled her hamstring during the match.
“I pulled my hamstring,” said Venus according to the World Entertainment News Network. “I got up this morning and hobble hobble. But I’m used to injuries. I just block them out.”
Venus and Regis teamed up to play doubles against ATP Tour player Mark Knowles and TV producer Michael Gelman.
On The Baseline
Will someone please do away with those links to information, pictures or whatever of tennis players on fanboards? They're quite annoying and for someone with the attention span of a gnat they're also distracting.
Just How Old is She?!
Once again questions about just how old Maria Sharapova is are floating around. I would yawn but I guess tennisheads need something to do until the end of December.
Speaking of Maria here's the draw for Hong Kong as posted on Eurosport
Ivanovic vs Dementieva
V.Williams vs Peng
Chakvetadze vs Hantuchova
Sharapova vs Wozniaki
Let's see now...who has the cupcake? Where is that Hickman fellow anyway?
Nicole Vaidisova and Lucie Safarova
There's been quite a bit of speculation - okay, guffaws and knowing winks, about a picture taken of the new couple Serena Williams and the rapper known as Common. I don't understand why people are so amused. Every woman has lost her earrings in a car no?
For real though she should have just taken the damn things off and put them in her purse. And I do hope she's covering up because it's cold...
Don't forget MMMM8 and GVGirl will be posting special coverage live from Portland Oregon starting Friday. Here's an official flag logo from the Davis Cup site.