Sunday, April 26, 2009

Model Behavior


I don't have anything to say. There are 27 images in all.

(Thanks, Great Tennis Photos)

18 comments:

Beth said...

Oh my, as if it wasn't already HOT out this weekend?! Smile. I LOVE the picture of Robredo in the hat, love, love, love it! Feli looks like a natural model. Also really like the one of Almagro and Ferrer laughing. What a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning. Thanks Craig, for making my morning!

Craig Hickman said...

You're welcome.

oddman said...

Numm, numm, numm.... Beautiful!

I have two things to say:

Damn, the Armada is hott.

and

Where was Rafa (she wails)?

Oh, Feli, you will be the death of me. sigh.

Oh, crap, that's three, LOL!

Beth said...

oddman, I'm with you. Was pining a bit for Rafa but, hey, the Armada is damn not nonetheless!

oddman said...

Yeah, they are, despite no Rafa. IAC, that kind of thing doesn't come so natural to him - he tends to look a bit uncomfortable posing and vamping, heh heh. Poor guy needs to be holding a tennis raquet to relax. There is that one vid of him promoting Mallorca tourism, he moves very gracefully there (fully clothed), and looks like he's thoroughly enjoying himself.

Beth said...

oddman, do you have the link to that video? I'd love to see it! And, yes, I agree that Rafa does not seem comfortable 'on display' like that. Sweet and humble thing that he is!

oddman said...

http://www.wikio.es/video/805153

Graf_sampras said...

I have something to say:

they are all. --as the common saying might go " HOT " and yummy, yummy, whatever gets ones gander up.....



now the question:


are they REAL tennis players or players of REAL tennis?


if anyone answers in the affirmative without qualification i am going to ROFLMAO!


i always call them GREAT RAMP MODELS.....moonlighting as "tennis players".....


throw in a scream or two and you got the "image" just about right.......

Graf_sampras said...

in other words THAT is h0w they should REALLY be on the tennis courts:


RUNNING and RUNNING and RUNNING , all "buff" and yummy.....just do away with the raquets since they haven't done much with those anyway..........

Graf_sampras said...

sorry to rain on everyone's oggling parade but:

most of these if not all players are as SIMILAR in being "good looking" as they ARE SIMILARLY BANAL and MEDIOCRE as tennis players of supposed worldclass "talent".

i suppose that is why , partly , they have to be sold as the "hotties" .....add "substance" to their tennis where it doesn't exist...!


==========

Does Surface Similarity Produce The Same Game?
By Victor Lamm
4/25/2009 7:49:00 PM

Variety is the spice of life, but standardized surfaces have diminished a once varied tennis taste.

Tennis is a unique game in many ways. It can be played indoor or outdoors; a match can span less than an hour or more than five hours; players can actually lose more points than they win yet still win the match.

One of tennis' top distinctions is that it remains one of the only significant sports played on different surfaces, which encourages diverse games styles. Or so it did.

Scan the record books and it doesn’t take long to learn just how historically difficult it has been for men to master multiple surfaces in Grand Slam play. Don Budge and Rod Laver are the only men to capture single-season Grand Slams. Budge was the first player to achieve the feat in 1938 and Laver established a record that may never be broken by winning the Grand Slam as both an amateur (1962) and as a pro (1969). Yet both Budge and Laver completed their Grand Slam seasons on two surfaces: grass (three of the four majors were once played on grass) and clay.

Only five men — Budge, Britain's Fred Perry, Australia's Roy Emerson, Laver and Andre Agassi — have collected all four major championships in a carer and of those five only Agassi has done it on four different surfaces (Agassi won his four Australian Open championships on Rebound Ace, which is commonly called a hard court, but is a surface created from recycled rubber tires, which makes it a different from the US Open's hard court where Agassi reigned twice).

A man for all surfaces, Agassi won Wimbledon in 1992, the US Open in 1994 and and 1999 and claimed Australian Open championships in 1995. 2000, 2001 and 2003.

After losing his first two French Open finalst, some thought Agassi like so many great champions before him — Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras, to name a few — would fail to prevail at what is arguably the toughest major to master: Roland Garros.

But against all odds, the man from Las Vegas made it happen in 1999 after a magical comeback from a deep two-set deficit against Andrei Medvedev.

It is an amazing accomplishment if you top to think about all the other great players who failed to win that fourth Grand Slam they were chasing.

In 14 years, 14 Grand-slam winner Pete Sampras never completely understood how to slide on the clay. Sampras came close to reaching the French Open final once — in 1996 — after beating former tournament winners Sergi Bruguera and Jim Courier — but Yevgeny Kavelnikov, a player Sampras dominated throughout his career in winning 11 of their 13 matches, brought him right back to earth in the semifinals.

On the other hand, the rock solid ball machine Ivan Lendl never managed to win at Wimbledon though he came close to reaching that elusive goal. Lendl made it to two consecutive Wimbledon final — only to meet and lose to two excellent grass-courters, Boris Becker (1986) and Pat Cash (1987) — at the peak of their powers, denying Lendl the one major trophy he coveted more than others at the end of his career.

Lendl, just like Jim Courrier or Mats Wilander, did not win at Wimbledon primarily because he could not sufficiently improve his comfort level at the net. Grass courts used to yield notoriously fast and low bounces that destabilized even the most potent baseline games.

Players couldn’t hang from the baseline for long and even the most defensive players had to serve and volley in order to stand a chance.





In the aftermath of Pete Sampras' victory over Goran Ivanisevic in a battle of big servers in the Wimbledon final, outcry grew for longer rallies on grass.

The All England Club's grass has become slower every year — as if it were a 55-year-old weekend hacker suffering from herniated discs in his back and blisters on his feet — and hard courts are getting so slow that the ball gets fluffy after a few games.

"What's disappointing about Wimbledon is how much I really don't enjoy playing on grass now because it's changed so much," said four-time Wimbledon semifinalist Tim Henman, prior to his last appearance at the grass-court Grand Slam. "The grass court has changed massively. They're so much harder and so true, the ball bounces up a lot higher. Here if you're hitting a good shot, you feel like it goes through the court. I think a combination with the grass changing to 100 percent Rye and the balls...it's so soft... the ball almost stops and sits up."

Yes, there are some valid reasons for the homogenization of surfaces.

Grass now has more durability at Wimbledon, the bounce is truer and higher and spectators can watch players rallying the ball for a longer time. This change was desirable because grass surfaces that could put up with lightfooted players in white trousers in the early 1930’s couldn't as easily endure the not-so-gracious (read: "heavier") footwork of 6-foot-11 giant Iva Karlovic.

In Australia, the old Rebound Ace that had the tendency to retain heat and to become too sticky serving like fly paper was replaced by hard court in 2008 so that players would suffer less injury.

But the deeper byproduct of all these surface changes is that Grand Slam surfaces have become more consistent — and less varied — in terms of speed and bounce.

And therin lies the whole problem.

Tennis has solved one problem and created another.

All Grand Slam surfaces used to have a distinct character that shaped a certain style of play. The medium-paced hard courts of the Australian and U.S. Opens provided a neutral surface for a variety of styles, and the grass of Wimbledon used to favor aggressive players and served and volley on every point. Not anymore.

Surfaces are getting too similar, distilling variety into a common denominator style of play: tennis is now almost exclusively a baseline game. What's wrong with that, you may ask?

Imagine if basketball legislated driving the lane out of the game creating an almost exclusive game of jump shots?

Tennis has become a bit too predictable in that players can now use the same strengths to win matches, whatever the time of the year and whatever the courts they play on. Players no longer have to adapt to different surfaces and expand their comfort zones in order to transition from one surface to the other as much as they used to do even 15 years ago.

You can see evidence this stylistic streamlining even with the very best players.

While Rafael Nadal has worked extremely hard on his volley and one-handed slice backhand, whether he’s at Wimbledon or at Roland Garros, Nadal still kicks his serve in, and runs around his backhand to hit his forehand and make the opponent run what appears to be a 10K almost every set.

Roger Federer, whose vast vocabulary of shot makes him one of the most complete players in the Open Era, serves and volleys less than 10 percent of the time on grass whereas when the young Federer upset Pete Sampras in the 2001 Wimbledon, he serve and volleyed on most first and second serves. As for Andy Roddick, he has also expanded his game considerably and is arguably playing the best tennis of his career now, yet rarely attacks net behind his serve.

Consider that in the last 30 years 16 different men have won Roland Garros and of those 16 champions, nine never won another Grand Slam title in their career. In that same span, 14 different men have won Wimbledon and 10 of those 14 won other major titles. But only three of those Wimbledon winners — Borg, Nadal and Agassi — also reigned at Roland Garros.

And in the end, the similar surfaces speeds have resulted in predictable Grand Slam results: we have the same players getting to the finals almost year round.

No more grass court specialist, clay court specialist and hard court specialists. No more players like Pat Cash or Pete Sampras feeling depressed when the clay court season comes around in April and feeling alive again in mid-June before Queen's Club. And no more French Open winning contenders — since players are now battling for a spot in the finals in Paris given Nadal's dominance — losing the early rounds at Wimbledon.

It’s not something you can really criticize because consistently having the top seeds staying around through the weekend is almost every tournament director and fan’s dream. And everybody can agree that it’s a great time for men’s tennis. But it would be nice to see some more extreme playing surfaces that would favor different game styles. Former — or current — fans of Patrick Rafter, Pat Cash or Stefan Edberg wouldn’t disagree with me on that one.

Maybe you do — tell me what you think on the Tennis Week.com message board.

Tennis Week contributing writer Victor Lamm is a former highly-ranked French junior player who played collegiate tennis for UC Irvine where he became the first Anteater to be selected for the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship since Trevor Kronemann and Richard Lubner each represented UC Irvine in 1990. He is currently an assistant coach for the NYU men's tennis team. He wrote Facing Fabrice a first-person account of playing against French magician Fabrice Santoro, Previewing The Sony Ericsson Open, Indian Wells Preview and French Flashback In Ostrava for this web site.

Graf_sampras said...

oddman said...

Yeah, they are, despite no Rafa. IAC, that kind of thing doesn't come so natural to him - he tends to look a bit uncomfortable posing and vamping, heh heh. Poor guy needs to be holding a tennis raquet to relax. There is that one vid of him promoting Mallorca tourism, he moves very gracefully there (fully clothed), and looks like he's thoroughly enjoying himself.

Sun Apr 26, 09:02:00 A

========

well -- Oddman -- PRECISELY the point with your sharp observation.

Rafael is just as :"HOT" as any of these...but doesn't NEED to join that "club" of "hotties" coz HE has tennis that is HOT!!!

and THEY don't! and might never have it so....

to the mediocrities are consigned the fluff!! that's the MAIN story of tennis today....

if you can't sell them as REAL tennis players -- sell them as HOTTIES....what's the difference? girls and boys will still buy tickets to see them with their pumped bods....and MISTAKE it for TENNIS......

Graf_sampras said...

it's great to see the hotties making a good living out of their "tennis"

IN THIS MANNER..........

clothed and unclothed......

but at least let's be honest -- call them for what they are:

buffed, saliva-inducing muscled MEDIOCRITIES , generally anyway, whose real profession is "handsome dandies"........

there should be a new mantra for their tennis:

"don't look at the yellow balls...look at their EYES...such bedroom EYES".........

just look at Blake, Lopez etc...


they are PROOF, living proof that John McEnroe, and other greats and real tennis players were WRONG, WRONG WRONG.........

you can have a SUCCESSFUL TENNIS career MINUS real talent --- so long as you got the HOT LOOK!!

leave the titles and REAL TENNIS to the likes of those guys like RAFA.....

Graf_sampras said...

the very NICE TOmmy Robredo (i posted a link to his very nice project of a tournament for the benefit of wheelchaired people , in honor of his dead friend) --

but THIS about SUMS up the UNSPOKEN quality of these players , from him:

"I NEVER GO INTO A TOURNAMENT THINKING OF WINNING THE TITLE".........


AND there you have it -- the STORY of the TEnnis of today's BIG BOYS........

they can't WAIT to have the photo shoots.....their resumes will soon be as THICK with FASHION PHOTOS as with actual matches won and played with REAL tennis........

Graf_sampras said...

as Beth would say about my politicis stuff:

IS THIS A TENNIS BLOG or a FASHION blog? lol.


teasing of course, but you all get da point.......i think...

Graf_sampras said...

TENNIS today is probably the only SPORT where you can be FORGIVEN for being a MEDIOCRITY so long as you LOOK HOT!!!


roflmaooo

Graf_sampras said...

oy -- on a SIDE NOTE:


did anyone get the little news report today?


RAFAEL NADAL JUST WON his FIFTH STRAIGHT BARCELONA TITLE that these MEDIOCRITIES can't get a whiff of after playing , many of them, on their PRECIOUS CLAY all their lives........with their "fundamentally sound" tennis............


and their BUFF BODIES show the PROOF!!

yummy.......

i guess they were NOBODIES in 2000, they are STILL nobodies in 200NINE!!

that's ten years at least of professional playing for most of these.........

no wonder a BOY named rafael JUMPED over all of them...........

they're just NO GOOD!!

Graf_sampras said...

but they're HOT!!!

Graf_sampras said...

of all these HOT mediocrities -- the one with the best face photos i think is actually David Ferrer.

he outHOTS the other hotties...


and his tennis is almost as interesting as his eyelashes...