Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do The Pretty Girl Rock

The Madrid Women’s draw is out, and it’s an interesting ‘un. Pretty evenly matched if you ask me, but as much as I’d like to dissect it, when the claycourt season comes I only have eyes for one player. The Cow, of course.

Most importantly, I’m excited to see that Vikkiri will reunite next week. They were on the verge of reaching #1 in the race and Masha becoming the top-ranked Russian doubles player back in Indian Wells before Vika was forced to retire then, but other teams have since passed them on both counts. It’s time to right that ship and get ready for Roland Garros. Vika still owes Maria a Grand Slam title, after all.


Baby Steps, Willies. Baby Steps.

Venus and Serena took to court together for the first time in, like, forever for a kids clinic in Washington DC. It may not be anything, but thanks to the effed up weaves on both that look like they’re deep into the third set of a Wimbledon semifinal and the fact that they’re hitting *actual* shots, I think I’ve just moved past my solemn depression at their absence in tennis to excitement at their prospective comebacks.

Incidentally, it was revealed this week that Venus (and Serena) had both withdrawn from Madrid and Rome. This was of course met with the usual melodrama from the usual suspects, but really it’s only confirming what we knew months ago. Serena obviously isn’t ready to compete and from the moment it was revealed that Venus signed up for Brussles, it was clear that there would be no way she would compete in the two big claycourt events. Now if she withdraws from Wimbledon and Roland Garros, two events she has played in every year since 1998, then we can worry.

Anyway, without further ado, let the picspam begin.

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Naomi Cavaday Retires From Tennis

A few weeks ago there was a rumour going around that Naomi Cavaday had announced her retirement from tennis, and today it was confirmed by her on the LTA site;

I would like to confirm that I will no longer be training and competing as a professional tennis player.

Throughout my career I have had big struggles with an eating disorder and depression but I’m pleased to say that I have worked through and overcome these issues and I am now in a great place to be able to make this decision, even though it has been a difficult decision to make. I want to be honest about what I have been through to raise awareness of these difficulties that many people go through and athletes are no exception.


I love tennis and passionately think it is the best sport in the world and it will continue to be a big part of my life. I really can’t wait to get stuck in to coaching which I really enjoy, with a specific focus on the emotional wellbeing of young athletes to help them achieve their potential as people and players.

Thank you for your support over the years, and I also want to assure you that I am very happy with my decision and excited for what lies ahead.

One thing she neglects to mention is why she has actually retired, but apparently a bad foot injury is to blame. I also didn’t realise she had an eating disorder and suffered from depression. That coupled with all the injuries and the awful virus tha left her unable to even walk up stairs, and it’s no wonder she has had enough and decided to stop.

Regardless, it’s such a big shame. I always considered her one of the most talented British players and she certainly had the game to reach the top 100, top 50 and even beyond. Anyway, here’s a video from her big moment at Wimbledon in 2007. Enjoy your life away from tennis, woman.


Anyway, there’s no need to be sad - she’s a talented, young 22 year-old and this is the WTA. Chances are, she’ll be back.

Benoit Paire Breaks New Ground In Ostrava

He’s crazy, he’s mad, he’s angry, he’s eccentric, and he’s so. damn. frustrating. to watch most of the time, but after this week, Benoit Paire will also be a top 100 player for the first time in his career.

Today, he moved past Alex Kudryavtsev in straight sets to reach the semis in this week’s Ostrava Challenger and seal his place in the top 100. Amazingly, he hasn’t yet dropped a set this week - reaching the semis here with minimal drama, craziness and headcase-ness. I don’t know if he bumped his head at the start of the week, or if this is some kind of “new” Benoit, but whatever it is, I damn well approve.

He’ll play 183-ranked Stephane Robert in the semi-finals tomorrow, after Robert took out Mr Azarenka Sergei Bubka 7-6 6-4 in the quarters. Considering Benedict is over 50 places higher than the next highest ranked player in the draw David Guez, surely he can wrap up this week by clinching his first ever challenger title?

Silence Is Golden [Exhibit B]

Also last week, we watched as Jarka Groth went on an emo rant, semi-announcing her separation from husband and fellow tourist hater, which was later confirmed.

Well today she hit twitter for round two to address the hate assumingly garnered by her previous tweets;

When I first saw her tweets, I felt my mouth open in complete shock. This is the downside of tennis players on twitter in all its ugliness. On one hand, I love that we get a more behind-the-scenes look into what the players do and think when off the court. But when this happens, it’s just too much, y’all!

I consider myself a fan of Jarka’s and totally ‘get’ that the whole situation is completely upsetting to her - how can it not be? But posting her troubles on the internet for the whole world to see only makes it ten times worse. If I was in Estoril, I would confiscate her blackberry from her until she calms down. I hope the people around her are smart enough to do the same.

[Screenshot: Foot Fault]

Silence Is Golden [Exhibit A]

So yeah, some shit has gone down recently..

Last week during my Stuttgart stint, it all kicked as Donald Young made a fool of himself by randomly deciding that twitter would be an appropriate platform to start cussing down the USTA;

Then Patrick McEnroe made a fool of the USTA by responding and calling a press conference in order to discuss those remarks from young.

Now, considering I’m not even from that country, I really couldn’t care less (though this issue would probably garner the same indifference even if the LTA was involved). And from someone who really couldn’t care less, there really seems to be a whole lot of stupidity going around from both camps. First from Donald Duck for quacking off on twitter - idiotically and egotistically involving the whole world in his business, and secondly for the USTA dignifying his outbust with a response. And not just any response, but a long-ass press conference filled with long-ass answers to a 15-word tweet. Plain stupid from all.

[Screenshot via Down The Line]

The Gauntlet Has Been Laid.

Rafa once again won in Barcelona, clinching his 979th title in a row there with a 6-2 6-4 victory over David Ferrer in the final.

Of course, everyone is all bored of Rafa constantly winning on clay, and while I don’t blame them, I’m also glad that, as expected, he is coming into his own again. By anyone’s standards, he has had a pretty decent start to the year prior to the claycourt season, but losing in the Masters final to Roger last year, and the two losses to Novak in the Indian Wells and Miami seemed to really knock his confidence, with the Miami final being one of the most gutless performances I’ve seen from him in a long time. But now he’s back, and it’s up to Novak to step to him and put himself in the position to contend for the Roland Garros title more fiercely than ever before. The two masters tournaments before the French Open shall be verrry interesting.

Driving Off Into The Sunset

So, I’ve been slowly cutting off this blog as the exams approach, but today I finally said ‘fuck it’ and will continue to post here even as I fail my exame. It’s the only thing keeping me sane, anyway.

As you should know by now, Stuttgart finished on Sunday and the final saw the upset of the tournament as hometown girl Julia Goerges took out Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to capture the biggest, and undoubtedly most special, title of her career.

To say the first set was weird would be an understatement. While Wozniacki was crap from the word go, Goerges alternated between serving brilliantly and smashing winners from all over the court in her service games, to setting up points then missing so many of the most embarassing misses ever witnessed in one tennis match. Quickly, we had a tiebreak. Wozniacki continued to play passive, lifeless tennis, while Goerges finally broke free of those nerves and whatever they were, easing through the tiebreak with some gigantic winners.

That first set seemed to free Gorge from then on, as she broke in Wozniacki’s first game, and never looked back. As usual, Wozniacki’s level did rise as the finish line approached, but by that time Julia was never going to lose the match. She held to love in the penultimate game and then eased through her last game to capture the Porsche and the title, fittingly with a huge unreturnable serve out wide.

It’s quite a shock, but I couldn’t be more happy for Julia. I’ve always been quite a fan, but during the press conference she just charmed us all with her bubbly and lovely personality - always laughing, always smiling and she always had the time and courtesy to look us all in the face and give each and every person she spoke to her full and undivided attention. She said afterwards;

“I had goosebumps at match point. It was an unbelievable feeling playing the final with so many people watching,”
“Everything was going so well but you can never be sure against Caroline. She has turned lots of matches around when nobody expected her to. She is only beaten when the last point is over. Now I’m looking forward to my niece’s baptism on Monday and being able to sleep in my own bed again after three months traveling the tour!”

Love it.

Also, the video is worth checking out if only for her dad who was going craaay after every point. And I don’t blame him one bit - what a great achievement.

Talkin' About The World Number One

Caroline Wozniacki, Caroline Wozniacki. This woman forever perplexes me. On one hand there’s just so much about her that makes me dislike her, and then on the other hand, like a smelly fungal infection, she’s really, really growing on me.

After Wozniacki’s second round victory over Kucova, the Stuttgart PR person came into the press room and asked us (in German, so I couldn’t reply) all if we wanted a presser from her. That in itself I thought was funny because most of the other prominent winners had pressers arranged with no questions asked, yet here he was asking us all if we wanted a press conference from the top-ranked tennis player. Even more shocking still is that the response was a resounding ‘no’. And when I say “resounding”, I mean that every single person in the press room said no. Every. Single. One.

And so I asked a couple of people around me why they said no. Again, they replied as one with comments to the effect of “she’s boring”, “she always says the same thing” and even “it would be a waste of my time”. Ow.

After the reporters at the Australian Open called her boring, she responded by criticizing their questions as being boring and repetitive and leaving her with no choice but to rehash the same answers over and over again. And so I decided to put this theory to test in her press conference after the Petkovic match. After yet another boring question followed by a similarly bored and dry answer from Wozniacki, I finally had enough and chipped in;

Me: You obviously joined the player council last year. Why did you want to join it?
Woz: First of all I think that as a top player I think we have some possibilities to change a few things on the tour. And just make it better with the players. I felt that if me, Serena and Venus are on there we can make a few decisions. Serena and Venus asked me a few times if I wanted to join so I decided I wanted to do it, I think it’s a good way to get involved and really make it better for everybody. Not only the top players, but everybody.

Me: What specifically did you want to change?
Woz: Well, there are a few issues. Obviously next year with the Olympics coming up, we have a few questions about the scheduling of tournaments. And then a few things with the roadmap that, you know, could be changed to be better for the players

Me: You also tweeted that you came here on a private jet. How did that come about?
Woz: Yeah, I did. I have good friends[laughing]. You know, my friend he was in monaco. He asked where I was going and I said I was going here, and he said “ok, I can drop you off on my way.”

Me: You think maybe you should get Turkish Airlines to get you your own one?
Woz: Yeah, I actually asked them… I saw that Barcelona has their own plane with their colours on it…
Me: Yeah, you can get one with your face on it
Woz: [laughter] yeah, I made that joke - that I should get a plane with my face on it [laughing].

She’s no Petko, Serena, Jelena, Venus, Martina and even Maria etc. who can create interesting or hilarious answers out of seemingly nowhere, but if you put just a little effort in, then she can, at the very least, deliver answers worth quoting. Maybe the problem is that people don’t try hard enough.

Going For The Repeat

Sam Stosur is the first player through to the semis here in Stuttgart, with a 2-6 6-3 7-6(3) victory over Vera Zvonareva.

I don’t even know where to start, so I’m just going to start with the most ridiculous fact. VERA MANAGED TO BREAK 9 (NINE!) STRINGS in this match. It was just so weird. We saw her break 4-6 back in the US Open semi against Wozniacki, and it came back here again. Back then, she really held her nerve and didn’t let it bother her too much, and it seemed like she would do the same here, until the impossible happened.

The impossible being that she managed to break every single racket in her bag, forcing her to play with her coach’s babolat racket while she waited for the stringers to do there thing. That’s really when she broke and went from dominating off the ground to spraying errors and losing three games in a row from a set and 3-3.

More weird was to come as both began to serve well and the match quickly became akin to a hardcourt match. They literally one-two punched up until the tiebreak. And while Vera was returning exceptionally well before, that quickly went out of the window in the third set.

She left the court in tears, and it goes without saying that something has to change. Whether it be the rackets, the design or the actual racket sponsor. Frankly, I hope it’s the latter.

But full credit must go to Sam. She was smart enough to reign in her game when the errors flowed drom Zvonareva and began to play very well in the third set, playing the clutch points particularly well and powering through the tiebreak. It’s definitely good to see her back in the mix. She called it her “best match of the year”, and I can’t argue with that.

Oh, and the match finished at 5pm with three matches to go. So, yeah, it’s going to be a long one tonight.


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