Showing posts with label Andy Murray nickname contest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andy Murray nickname contest. Show all posts

Thursday, August 28, 2008

US Open 2008: Andy Roddick and Ana Ivanovic In Different Directions!

Before we begin our post, here's another breaking news bulletin from the Tipsy Historian: Women's number one seed Ana Ivanovic has just been upset by Julie Coin, currently the 188th player in the world, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. This literally just happened, so you know where to turn for your breaking news! Now back to your regularly scheduled US Open post.
It all comes down to the US Open for Andy Roddick this year, that's for certain. He crashed and burned in Flushing last year and this year has been one struggle after another: changing coaches, the sore shoulder, the Wimbledon loss to Tipsarevic, the decision to skip the Olympics. About the only thing going right in his tennis life right now is Davis Cup. His seed for this year's tourney has dropped to 8, and he's just about off the radar as a title contender.
Which also makes it the perfect time to make a move, and he sure looks ready to do it. Last night, with Davis Cup coach and erstwhile mentor Patrick McEnroe in his box, he came out blazing against Fabrice Santoro and rolled to a quick three set victory. Santoro is the sort of player who could have driven Roddick nuts with his mixture of spin, consistency and fitness. Roddick was unfazed as his serve was enormous (up to 147 mph) his forehand was dialed in, and his backhand was solid. This last issue is certainly huge for Andy, because opponents know to pick on that wing whenever possible. If it's going to be up to the challenge, then Roddick may be poised to make a run.
This would be the perfect time for it, with American tennis in the doldrums and interest waning, not to mention the fact that this ex-champ has become something of an afterthought in the world of Nadals, Federers, and Djokovics. He certainly has his work cut out for him in the second round, with everyone's favorite up and coming player Ernests Gulbis waiting for him tomorrow night.
Today is a big day for another Andy, last name Murray, who not only moved into the third round with a tough 4-set win, but finally got his nickname! I dub him "The Jilted Kilt", and he will henceforth be referred to as such in this space. Congrats to Mr. Triathlon, who will get a stash of home-roasted coffee as his prize.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

US Open 2008 Preview

Whew, three posts in two days and 5 in the past three, guess I had a lot to say!
Tomorrow begins my single favorite sporting event of the year; the 2008 US Open tennis tournament! Two weeks packed to the rafters with drama, noise, brilliant shotmaking, and unreal tension. All the big names are playing, all the celebs are traveling; the final Grand Slam of the year is ready to go!
This is our national tennis tournament, and it is bigger, louder, more intense, and more dramatic than anything else in the tennis world. The players' personalities always come out as they have a chance to wear their emotions on their sleeves, so each match becomes incredibly engaging. The grounds are absolutely swarmed with fans and the matches go all hours, so the setting is loud and beer-soaked. For the American tennis fan, the hard court playing surface is the same that we play on, so this is a fantastic study of tennis tactics and shotmaking on a platform that we're very familiar with.
Even with all this, here is the best part (after trying to watch the Olympics on the other side of the world) No tape delays in the hours and hours of daily coverage!
Quickly before we start the preview, I'm going to extend the deadline for the Andy Murray Nickname Contest until Wednesday 8/27, so get your votes in if you haven't already.
There is tremendous uncertainty on both the women's and men's draws on the eve of the tourney, with no clear favorite going into the Open, so that said, let the preview begin.
You may have thought after reading the above comment about uncertainty in the men's draw that I'm flat out nuts; that Rafael Nadal is the favorite, he's number one in the world, Federer is slipping, and no one else is close. These are valid points, but not so fast. The bane of Rafa's tennis existence remains hard courts, especially at Flushing Meadow where his best result is the quarterfinals. Not only that, but the courts take a tremendous toll over two weeks, and for a player with Nadal's physicality, that is nothing to sneeze at. he's also number one in the world now, and for some people wearing a target that size is quite an albatross. Finally, there is the Olympic question. No one can predict what effect the Olympics will have had on these players, but I would bet that for Rafa, his gold medal run in Beijing will detract from his preparation for the Open. Consider the travel, the emotional high, the daily matches, and the travel again.
Roger Federer is clearly not the Federer of old, and I agree with most pundits out there that he looks burned out, needs a break and a fresh perspective. He's also an unbelievable competitor, with a versatile game perfectly suited for the Open, as his previous results attest. Hard to believe I'm saying this, but he's the very definition of a wild card in this event. Will he have the form and confidence to push deep into the tournament, or will he wash out early.
Aside from these two there are some familiar names in the mix. Of course Andy Roddick is supercharged for this one, and Andy Murray played brilliantly over the summer, Olympics notwithstanding. Novak Djokovic is a sexy pick for the title and always plays well on hard surfaces. There is also a fascinating groundswell of young talent in the men's game, and you can be sure they understand that New York is a great place to make your name.
Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro ripped apart the summer season in the US with the top players in Beijing, winning 4 consecutive tournaments and 19 straight matches. France's Gilles Simon and Switzerland's Stanislaus Wawrinka are also on the rise, but keep this name foremost in your mind: Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. He is young, confident, and has an unbelievable game. He is poised for a breakthrough, and this may well be the year.
Here are my predictions:
Semifinals: Federer vs Djokovic, Nadal vs Murray
Finals: Djokovic vs Nadal
Winner: Rafael Nadal
After looking at the women's side, I honestly want to throw up my hands, as this draw is in a state of anarchy. What a bizarre year this has been, with retirements, nerves, questionable commitment, and injuries shattering the upper echelons of the game. Now we are left with a host of women playing well, but not a single person showing they are ready to rise to the top. I'm not saying there isn't quality there, because that's not the case. Ladies like Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic are playing outstanding tennis, and just like the men, there is a whole new crop of players banging on the door of the top ten. It's just that no one stands above the rest in any meaningful way.
Which is just awesome! I mean, how much fun is this going to be? Look for upsets galore, new names and personalities plowing into the second week, and a first time Grand Slam winner.
Semifinals: Dinara Safina vs Agnieszka Radwanska, Anna Chakvetadze vs Jelena Jankovic
Finals: Safina vs Chakvetadze
Winner: Safina
There is a massive quantity of daily coverage and here is a link to the schedule. Keep your eyes peeled for the final US Open appearance of tennis' last magician, Fabrice Santoro. He will battle Andy Roddick in a first round match on Tuesday, sure to be at night. There are also two wonderful blogs to keep you updated, aside from The Tipsy Historian, of course. Rafa Nadal will be blogging again and the NY Times maintains an excellent tournament blog, so definitely keep up with both.
This is going to be a ton of fun, so stay tuned and up to date!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Andy Murray Nickname Contest: Cast Your Votes!

The man is on our shores and winning titles (he took down Novak Djokovic in Cincy this past Sunday). We're also a few weeks away from the US Open, so it's time for the friends of The Tipsy Historian to cast their votes for the best nickname for Andy Murray.
If you look at the right sidebar, you'll find the polling place at the bottom. Each entry will remain anonymous until the final ballot is cast, and the winner gets a stash of fresh-roasted coffee from me. The poll will close and the winner announced Sunday August 25th. I won't vote except in the case of a tie, then I'll cast the tiebreaker.
Let your voices be heard!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Final Days For Entries Into Andy Murray Nickname Contest

Don't forget to send me your ideas for the Andy Murray nickname contest; I'll be open for entries until this Monday. Next week, I'll put up all of the choices in a poll and everyone can vote. Share with friends, colleagues, family, anyone who would find behavior like this as comically ridiculous as the rest of us!

Good nicknaming, everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Andy Murray Nickname Contest

With regards to our contest to assign the best nickname possible to this guy...


-enter as many times as you like
-I will post entries as they come in (keep it relatively clean, if you please)
-the winner will receive a bag of fresh-roasted coffee from the Tipsy Historian
-for more material/inspiration regarding our target, er, subject, click here

Wimbledon Semifinal Roster Almost Complete (This Post With Bonus Feature!)

Oooh boy are the Williams sisters just making a mockery of Wimbledon or what? Both stormed into the semifinals of the singles draw yesterday and today, they joined forces to advance to the semis of the doubles as well. What makes this so special is that frequently when a player in the singles draw who even deigns to play doubles advances in singles, they will often default in doubles to conserve strength.
Evidently, Serena and Venus have strength to spare as they close in on what is looking inevitably like an all-Williams, all the time Wimbledon. They are really in rare air here, I don't believe that a doubles team (let alone a winning doubles team) has been made up of both singles finalists. History in the making, and we all know how I feel about history...
Speaking of history, Roger Federer made a bit more of that today by advancing to his 17th straight Grand Slam singles semifinal. To put this in perspective, this means he has gotten into the final weekend of every Slam for more than 4 solid years! Hard to think of a comparison, because there really isn't one..
In the other major news of the day, Captain Bicep himself, Andy Murray took on Rafael Nadal in another quarterfinal showdown. Would the newest Bowflex posterboy have the flex to down the man with battleaxe arms?
No.
Murray spent the better part of the morning picking up shards of his ego as Nadal showed what true tennis muscle looks like in a short and sweet three set victory. Best part of the coverage of this drubbing? Turns out the grassy hillside upon which Wimbledon fans can watch matches on the big screen, previously known as "Henman Hill" in honor of Tim Henman is now known as "Murray's Mound" Anyway, I'm sure we'll be hearing more about the Scrawny Scot in a few months at the US Open. In the meanwhile, the Andy Murray nickname contest starts now, so submit your nickname and be recognized!

BONUS FEATURE
check out this fantastic link: tennis players dressed up as their favorite Olympic sport! I liked Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram from Israel as judo artists

Monday, June 30, 2008

Flex 'Em If You Got 'Em, I Suppose

Andy, oh Andy, why do you make it so hard to like you? Today's Richard Gasquet vs Andy Murray match will certainly join the pantheon of classic Wimbledon battles, what with the 5 set thriller, the 2 sets to love deficit overcome by Murray as the sun went down (no lights at Wimbledon), and some brilliant shotmaking by the pale Scot to make it all happen. With the entire tennis world looking proudly on, what did you choose to do, Andy? Did you run to the net to respectfully shake hands with your vanquished foe, did you smile and wave to the fans who had screamed their brains out for you?
No. You pulled up the right sleeve of your shirt, flexed your bicep, and pointed at it. No dear readers, I'm not kidding, he actually did this. When I told The Jess about this stunt she declared "I would have hit him on the head with my racket!" When she saw it herself on Sportscenter, she covered her mouth in shock while I chuckled.
The Brits are stuck with you as their solitary hope for any sort of tennis glory, but by God, I'll always think you're a clown. It's a shame too, because you are an amazingly creative and speedy player with tremendous skill. Unfortunately, you have, to paraphrase Crash Davis from Bull Durham "a million dollar game and a ten cent head".
Now, in what should have been a proud moment for you, you look like the tool that you are. Soon, you're going to see some real biceps when you face Rafa Nadal in the quarters on Wednesday. Best of luck, stringbean.

The women's draw continued its descent into almost total anarchy today as Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova both lost, making this the first Grand Slam in the Open Era (40 years) where none of the top 4 seeds make the quarterfinals. Were it not for Venus and Serena Williams continuing their respective runs towards the finals, this Wimbledon would look like tennis' equivalent of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (no links for you, you must find the answer yourself, grasshoppa).
Tomorrow is where another unique feature of Wimbledon picks up: all the women's quarterfinals are played in one day, with the men on Wed. The tourney continues in this staggered fashion through to the finals. I love this approach, each gender gets the limelight for a day.
The tournament hits high gear now, so you should update yourself on the draws and schedule of play at wimbledon.com