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Category Archives: Dramz

Spanish Sportspeople React To Yannick Noah’s Doping Accusations

Yesterday saw former French Open Champion Yannick Noah launch a shocking attack on Spanish sport as he accused all of its leading ambassadors of doping, as well as suggesting that the various prominent Spanish doctors and officials have worked together to keep this doping conspiracy a secret.

Today was the turn of the accused to reply to Noah’s statements, and needless to say, they were not impressed.

David Ferrer:
“(When) your son plays in the NBA, where there is no doping controls. You are not the best person to talk,” said the tennis world number five, which will debut on Monday at the Masters in London, referring to Joakim Noah, who plays the Chicago Bulls.

“I think it’s total ignorance. That a person who has played tennis and knows the sport says that (with) genuine outrage… Like I said without reason or thought,”

Four-time Grand Slam Champion Manolo Santana:
“I find it incredible that an athlete like Noah, who won Roland Garros almost thirty years ago, playing good tennis players but not our current goal is not only tennis but all sports. It seems out of place. Spain is now the leading power of sport and statements (like that) are not good for him and not for sport in general.

“The Sports Council has done significant work towards the subject of doping and, personally, I have a certain respect and admiration for Contador. It has been shown that there is nothing. I find it outrageous, but when people want fame, the only way to have is by messing with a person or an entity as large as Spain in the sport. In basketball, soccer, tennis, Formula One, athletics … In all sports Spain is at the forefront and these haphazard statements. makes a dent in some athletes do.

Spanish Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco:
“It’s very difficult for the ignorant to understand the explosion of Spanish sport. The work has been the key to success,”

“Spain makes 11,200 doping tests per year. That’s the best answer we can give,” he added.

President of Spanish Basketball Federation, José Luis Sáez:
“In matters as sensitive as the doping is, it’s not about accusations without proof, but to expose without casting unnecessary doubt.”

BREAKING: Karolina Wozniacka to open a clothing store in Istanbul

Okay, not really. But I’m here covering the WTA YEC in Istanbul and out of the blue I just thought, ‘remember that blog thing that I used to… blog things on?’ So yeah, to all the 2 people who still read this blog, I’m back. Kinda.

Don’t expect to find anything of substance here though. I’ll be writing all the serious stuff at On The Baseline this week and Tennis Panorama in Valencia and Paris.

Jelena and Damir Dokic Reconcile In Serbia

Five years after she finally mustered up the courage to split from her infamous and notorious father, Serbian media is now reporting that Jelena Dokic has travelled back to Serbia to reconcile with the man who spent most of her life emotionally, and allegedly physically, abusing her. and Pravda;

(Dokic) arrived on Wednesday in Vrdnik along with her ​​boyfriend Tin Bikic, at the farm where her father lives. In Serbia she will try to heal the (shoulder) injury and take off excess pounds, to be in good shape at her awaited return to the field. According to some sources it is today in Vrdnik ran eight miles, in order to lose weight.

Confirmation also comes in the form of Dusan Grujic of tennis club Partizan.

Recently I spoke with Damir Dokic and he told me. Jelena arrived in the family home in Vrdnik with her boyfriend Tin Bikic, who is a good guy. Good thing that Damir accepted (them). After all that had survived the last few years for them the best we have come together as a family.

Oh loorrrrrrd (™Jelena Jankovic). We all saw and heard all Jelena’s various ‘tell-all’ interviews when she first came back into the public eye in 2009. She spoke emotionally about her father’s abuse and how she was free of him and would never return, and yet here she is back in Serbia with the monster.

The scariest thing is that the bans that Damir incurred back in the day were all short-term, and so should this whole reconciliation thing goes well, he could well attend some of Jelena’s future events. I guess we just have to hope that in the years of estrangement from his daughter, Damir has gained a bit of perspective and sanity.

And if not and Dokic Sr. does try any of his funny business, that Tin will step in and lay a smackdown on the 53 year-old’s ass. I don’t advocate violence, but he deserves it.

Serena Williams’ US Open outbursts: An uncharacteristic ticking timebomb?

Yesterday, history repeated itself as yet another one of Serena Williams’ US Open outings ended in outburst and shame. This year’s events certainly weren’t anywhere close to what unfolded two summers ago, and rather than being threatening, she turned into a hysterical half-crying half-ranting mess. But it was still bad, and naturally the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.

What surprised me most wasn’t the actual outburst, but the fact that she really appeared to believe that Eva Asderaki - one of the best umpires in the game - was part of some conspiracy deliberately out to get her and “screw her over”, as she so eloquently put it. It was just insane paranoia.

But then again, if you really think about what has gone on in her career, can she really be blamed for thinking that the whole tennis world is conspiring against her?

Throughout the years of her career we have seen Serena the victim of an unprecedented amount of incidents and drama. We all know the story of the Williams sisters and how they rose to the top of the game their own way; defying the traditional country club barriers of race, social class and the traditional process that most go through to get to the top. For that reason, from the age of 10/11/12 people have been rooting against her, hoping that she would fail and the hype surrounding her would be nothing but hype.

And that was before she even made it onto the main tour. Since she has established herself as one of the best and greatest players ever, incidents involving her as the victim have come thick and fast. In 2001, Venus withdrew from their Indian Wells semifinal match long before their match. However, the WTA decided to wait until only minutes before they were due to go on-court before announcing it. The crowd then booed (which may or may not have been racially motivated) a 19 year-old Serena in the final. Though she admitted in her autobiography that as a teenager, having to stand there and watch as 16,000 of her own people booed her for doing absolutely nothing wrong was one of the most painful moments of her life, she stayed classy.

In 2003, we watched as Serena’s bitter rival Justine Henin resorted to dirty gamesmanship and cheating in order to triumph over Serena at the French Open. Henin’s coach Carlos Rodriguez later claimed that she would have owned up to any player but Serena. The same match also saw her left to effectively left call her own lines and continually stop points as the linespeople made abysmal call after abysmal call against her. Williams was then booed off Philippe Chatrier in tears, bursting into fresh tears in the press conference. Even so, she complimented Henin’s play through the tears; she stayed classy.

A year later came yet another controversial incident in the quarterfinals of the US Open against Jennifer Capriati, which has become infamous for being the match that ushered in the era of electronic line-calling. It was a farce and a joke, with bad calls coming in all sets with completely different linespeople. She could have easily lost her mind - and it was so bad that no one would have really blamed her for doing so - but to her credit she once again didn’t put a single foot out of line. In parts of the match she looked completely exhasperated and other parts she looked ready to cry, but she always stayed classy.

These are only a few of the countless incidents involving Serena over the years, and it’s why I can’t help but think that - without condoning her awful behaviour towards Shino Tsurubuchi in 2009 and Eva Asderaki this year - Williams seems to have just reached her breaking point. She was never angry and it was so rare to see her even politely complain, let alone insult an umpire. But after 13 years of inexplicably hostile crowds, racist hecklers, lying and cheating opponents and so on, she has finally broken, and all that anger suppressed and pushed deep down in these incidents throughout the years is rearing its ugly head all at once.

One incident that really re-affirmed this to me was when Serena played Jelena Jankovic in Rome last year. In the tiebreak, Serena was leading 5-2 when she was distracted and put her hand up to ask for more time. Jankovic only saw the hand after she served and immediately launched into a tradmark moan and groan towards the umpire as only she can. Meanwhile, you could see Serena standing there watching the exchange, squinting while looking nervous and rattled. She then lost a shaky 5 points in a row to lose the match and instead of showing her frustration at losing such a tight match and big lead, the very first thing she did was make a bee-line for Jankovic in order to make sure Jankovic knew she wasn’t trying to cheat, infamously telling her ‘I would never cheat you like that; I’m not Justine’. Many criticized her words and for not having gotten over the 7 year-old incident, but I was more touched. Even seven years down the line, the wounds of that event were still raw and painful; and rather than breaking her racket at losing a big lead and tight match, she wanted to first make sure that Jankovic knew she wasn’t trying to make her feel that way too.

So often we look at Serena with her bulging muscles and brash American swagger and just assume that she brushes off those incidents without a care in the world, but without sounding all sentemental and cliché, underneath the muscles and confidence is a normal person inside. Her recent behaviour has been ugly, unpleasant and horrible, but really, was this all a matter of when rather than if?

Let’s just hope that with time, she can let this anger and paranoia go and revert back to the sporting and non-complaining Serena Williams that, though rarely spoken about, has defined the vast majority of her illustrious career.

Players Clash With The USTA; What To Take From It.

After Tuesday’s Day and Night sessions were completely washed out, today brought similar woes as rain threatened to completely throw off the US Open’s schedule and only around 10-12 minutes of play was managed before the players were carted off-court and play was eventually suspended. In a desperate attempt to get players on-court and the fourth round finished, officials decided to put the players on-court during a brief window where the heavy rain became the lightest drizzle. Needless to say, the players were unhappy.

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Maria Kirilenko and Sam Stosur, disrespected by US Open schedulers, put on a classic

Yesterday, after two fairly dull and routine mens straight-setters, the USTA decided to move the final match - Maria Kirilenko vs Sam Stosur - off Arthur Ashe and to another court. After moving it, they decided that essentially telling them that they were disposable and nothing but a side-show was not enough, and decided to fool around a row by changing the court they intended the match to be played on at least 3-5 games; first Armstrong, then Grandstand, 17 and back again. It was nothing but a complete shambles.

So what did Maria Kirilenko and Sam Stosur do?

They simply shrugged their shoulders and put on one of the matches of the tournament. And it was amazing. First Stosur struck with 5 games of perfect attacking tennis. Then Kirilenko dug deep and fought back by stepping in to take Stosur’s serve early and attempting to rush to the net at every opportunity (something she did some 51 times in total throughout the match.). The pair then clashed heads in the ‘breaker of the year, with Kirilenko saving 5 match points (including two through challenging her shots that were called out) and taking her 6th set point in front of a roaring crowd. By the third set it was clear that Kirilenko was mentally fried, and though she once again fought with every fibre of her being, it was Stosur who remained more composed to seal the incredible match up and advance to yet another slam quarterfinal.

The saddest thing about all of this is that it represents the viscous circle that tennis is stuck in. Unlike 6-12 years ago, the men’s game is clearly more popular that the women’s. But when the organisers are so willing to treat all but the WTA’s big three stars as nothing but a little sideshow, it hurts the game even more. It’s special moments like these that make people life-long fans of both the sport and the players involved, and instead of being broadcast on US TV in its entirety and held in front of 22k screaming (and screaming is an understatement to the the noise made by only 5000 people on Grandstand.) fans as it should’ve been, it was pushed to the small Grandstand court and was only available online in most territories while most TV sets showed Andy Murray demolishing a self-destructing Feliciano Lopez. It’s just not good enough.

Grigor Dimitrov attempts to plant Un Kiss on Gael Monfils at the US Open

Generally, French players tend to seal matches between their compatriots and friends with a peck on each cheek. Nothing serious or alarming; it’s just how they roll. This meant that after Gael Monfils’ victory over Grigor Dimitrov, Dimitrov who lives in Paris at the Mouratoglu academy, absent-mindedly leaned in for a kiss. But it all went horribly wrong.

Who knows if it was intentional, or rather if he was expecting Gael to turn his cheek which clearly didn’t happen - with Gael hilariously looking half-amused and half-confused as he leaned back - but one thing’s for sure; he will never ever live that down. Not with players. Not with fans. And most certainly not with me.

Also, I think it’s safe to say that Dimitrov has single-handedly destroyed any ‘baby Federer’ comparison from this point onwards. Roger would never.

(GIF via nidssserz)

So, the Jankovics and Troickis *apparently* want to murder each other

During my little blogging break, the Serbian media have been running a story about the Jankovics and Troickis who are alleged to be locked in some bitter Montague-Capulet-esque family feud.

“Viktor was having a massage, and and Snezana, Jelena’s Mum, stormed into the room and started yelling at him and the massage therapists, claiming that he can not seem to be in line for a massage before her daughter. Victor was then cursed and was really unpleasant situation - reveals a close friend of the Serbian players.

“In return, Viktor swore at her. Jelena’s mother then threatened him, telling him not to mess with her because she is from Zvezdara, and he answered that he wasn’t afraid of her threats since he’s from Dorcol.

“Several months later, Jelena’s brothers met and greeted Viktor in Miami, where they live, but he just turned away and wouldn’t talk to anyone from Jelena’s family.” - said a friend of the Serbian tennis players.

Regardless of whether this is true, I think congratulations are in order.

If it is true, then congratulations to Sneki for achieving the seemingly impossible feat of actually being crazier than any of us could have possibly imagined. I mean, shouting down a grown man and threatening him? Essentially saying that she’s from the ‘hood and people from her hometown will come and sort him out for something as trivial as taking her massage appointment? Crazy, crazy hoodrat behaviour.

However, the likelihood is that it isn’t true. Particularly as Sneki herself has apparently spoken out saying that there are no problems between the two families and that Vik is a great guy. But even so, the writer of this article deserves congratulations for pure imagination. It’s one of those things that you just *can’t* make up, and yet he/she has managed to do just that. Bravo.

Quotable Quotes: Robert Radwanski Being Stupid For a Change…

Following Agnieszka Radwanska’s decision to sever ties with her father Robert Radwanski after Wimbledon, Radwanski has recently been on the war-path in Polish media, criticizing his daughter for just about everything he can think of.

“If they will decide to split up with me, they will find out the truth - the truth of life.

“Agnieszka believes that those ‘clappers’ from (the) Polish Tennis Association are great, wonderful, brilliant and just her father is evil. (The) nonsense spoken by those “well-wishers” did its job. Agnieszka suddenly claimed that she was a smart alec and she stopped listening. Father imposed discipline, told her (of) all errors aloud. Yes, sometimes too ostentatiously but if the defeats became a standard I just was not able to do it in a different way. In one moment I realised that I banged my head against a brick wall. But I never was and will never be a clapper! So I say once more that all those arguments were arguments between player and coach, not daughter and father.

“Excuse me. But so far Agnieszka did nothing great. Yes, yes. Please don’t act so surprised! When I hear that in Carlsbad she achieved her biggest success in career, I just smile with pity. She just defended her 2010 points from that tournament and instead of losing the final, she won. And if she doesn’t agree with my opinion, let her win the US Open to spite me. I wish her that from all my heart and I will be really happy if she does! If she does at least reach the semifinal, then I will stand corrected with pleasure and I will claim that those changes brought something. So far I am waiting.”

Bitter. Crazy. Immature. Petty. Idiotic. Stupid… I could go on for years. My favourite line is actually the very first; “they will find out the truth - the truth of life.” Surely he realises how hard it is to take him seriously when he comes up with crap like that?

Needless to say, I’m so glad both Radwanskas have found the strength to say ‘no’ and distance themselves from their domineering dad. Let’s hope it stays this way.

Elise Tamaela Attacked, Knocked Out and Left On A Drip By Opponent’s Father

Yesterday at the lowly ITF $25k Versmold, 27 year-old Elise Tamaela was subjected to a brutal verbal and physical attack by a fellow competitor’s father, which knocked her out and left her on a drip in hospital overnight.

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