Friday, May 29, 2009

Michael H. asked about the Bad Girlz of tennis over on Twitter...

So it is my pleasure to provide this video of Switzerland's Patty Schnyder vs. Spain's Conchita Martinez (now retired) from a while ago that took place in beautiful Charleston, SC. To set it up, this was a hotly contested match, and as superstitious players often do, Martinez was asking the ballkids for the same ball back after she would win a point on her serve. For those who are not avid tennis viewers, there are several balls available to the server during play, and the server will often opt to inspect all the available balls in order to select the ball that appears to be the freshest. A new can of balls is opened and exchanged for worn tennis balls at certain intervals of the match. Martinez wanted to continue to play with the winning ball, apparently. Anyway, Schnyder decides to mess with that, and after losing a point asks the ballkid for the ball and tucks it in her spanks (those cute little tennis panties the ladies wear under their skirts). LOL. Watch the rest to see how all of that turned out for her.

Oh...and refusing to shake your opponent's hand after the match? Almost never done in tennis. It is considered extremely bad form. I think I've seen it twice, live anyway, in all my years of watching tennis.

Meet Patty Schnyder. Bad girl. At least on this day. ;-)

Physical maintenance.

On a personal note...back in January, after reading some random unsolicited testimonials for the Body for Life program over at Althouse, I got some very good advice from an acquaintance (whom I've lost touch with) and started my own modified B4L plan. I found the book very helpful as far as the overall program, and also for teaching how to eat in order not only feed your body right for this program, but in general. Surprisingly, I found the suggestions for diet easier than the workout...well, surprising to me, anyway. I've always been somewhat active, so maybe that's the key to that surprise.

Months later, I'm feeling fantastic overall. I still feel that I have a ways to go toward where I want to be as far as overall tone and size, but I have to say that I'm amazed at how much my body has changed by doing this modified program. I've obviously been this size before, but I looked completely different at it than I do now. And, as it is quite a few years down the road since then, I find that kind of shocking! In a good way, of course.

I have no complaints at this point, just maybe a little frustration lately as I feel like I have hit a plateau and am having a hard time figuring out how to get past it. I really don't want to feel deprived as far as eating goes (though I know, I the pasta!), and working out harder is not that attractive to me, either. Something's gotta give, though.

Anyway, I highly recommend the Body for Life program. But minimally, joining a gym if you don't have the necessary equipment at home, getting some help with how to develop a training program for yourself if you can, and learning how to feed the muscles you're working on. So far, this is the best thing I've done as far as taking care of myself physically.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holy crap! That was close!

I missed the first two sets of Federer's match vs. Jose (Chucho) Acasuso (that's his glorious self above, pictured in better times) at the French Open today due to an over-confident sleep. I had no business being over-confident, it turns out. Roger nearly lost the first set, but scraped through in the first set tiebreak (saving about 4 set points, I guess), then proceeded to lose the second set and go down 1 game to 5 in the third. I'm pretty sure the blood drained from my face when I turned the TV on!

What happened? I don't really know...from the time I turned the match on until Roger finally wrapped it up in the 4th, I thought he was playing pretty well. I do think Chucho choked trying to serve out the third (twice), but I also think some of that was due to a lot of pressure from Roger. I think the sleeping giant had at least partially awoke in time. Roger won 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 in four sets.

I must say that I feel pretty sorry for Chuch - that's gotta hurt. But somebody has got to lose in order for my Roger to win, I always say!

Whew. Don't do that in the next round please, Roger. And enjoy the beach, Chuch!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meet Andy Murray.

Have I talked about my Federer love? Why, yes I have, I believe. *little smile here* And I've talked about my - er, dislike wouldn't be the right word - for Rafael Nadal, but let's move on!

I'd like to introduce you to Andy Murray! He's a Scottish lad who plays for Great Britain and who still occasionally bristles when referred to as "British". I think that's kind of adorable, having a bit of Scot in me, m'self.

Andy scored a win at Roland Garros today in the second round against Italian Potito Starace, whom I like to call "Potato Starch" (I have a habit of that - nicknaming players, that I've picked up from the various tennis sites I frequent). Anyway, it was a pretty impressive win, as the spud is a pretty good player who had leveled the match by taking the second set today, but Andy came through in 4 sets to move through to the third round.

Why am I a fan of Andy's game? It is kind of interesting, at least to me, since I'm such a big fan of Roger Federer and his "beautiful" game. I doubt if there is much, at least that strikes me anyway, in Andy's game that resembles the beauty of Roger's play on court. But still...this guy impressed me from the first time I saw him play live. He may not have Roger's cat-like movement, but there is still a grace to it, in my opinion. He's deceptively fast and fluid. His balance during his shots is really impressive to me - sometimes I'll replay a point just to watch him strike a ball because he doesn't look like he's going to get to it, but he does! And with perfect balance. That's why I call his movement deceptive.

Andy's got a really impressive serve as well when he gets in a groove. I love his service motion, actually - maybe more than Roger's. And his backhand, although a two-hander, which for me is not as aesthetically pleasing to watch, is a thing of beauty in it's own right. Solid and powerful. Again, almost deceptively so.

Unfortunately, Andy has a lot of haters. He can be very cranky on court and if you search the 'net for images of him, it's pretty obvious that he is a colorful guy during match play. Hee. I don't mind it so much if it's directed sort of inward, and I think that's mostly the case with him, but this kind of attitude on court has earned him a lot of haters. And really, if you take the time to listen to his pressers, he's actually quite charming and self-effacing. Humble and gracious toward his opponents with his comments post-match, too. Ok...and I'm a bit of a sucker for that Scottish accent...

So meet Andy...he's probably the crankiest of my faves at the moment. I'm lookin' forward to him being good and cranky (in a winning way, of course) against Nadal in the semi-finals of this tournament. Go, Andy!

Monday, May 25, 2009


I'm bad enough when I have hockey playoffs and baseball to keep me busy, but now, starting yesterday, I have Roland Garros (French Open) tennis to watch. And I know I've said that I hate clay tennis and that Nadal has killed tennis for me, but I'm really just whining when I say that. I still watch. And today, unfortunately, I'm watching Nadal play in a bright pink shirt and a bright yellow headband. Will no player step up and save me from this? I'm begging here. Anyone? Anyone? Federer?

Annnnd...I'm clearly whining again. I'll stop. *sigh*

So, leaving aside the futility of watching Roland Garros for two weeks when the outcome is predetermined on the men's side (Oh. Sorry...was that another whine?)...grrr...I'll switch gears and talk about my Red Wings. Ahhh....feeling better already! They looked positively studly yesterday in their 6-1 defeat of the Blackhawks in game 4 of this playoff series. I hardly ever mind a beatdown. Unless someone cries and then not counting the NY Yankees or the Anaheim Ducks. Heh. So, one more to go, as the Wings lead the series 3-1. Are you with me, Wings fans? Go Wings!

And lastly, let's talk baseball...I missed watching the Tigers play yesterday, but I read that they lost and shrugged it off, of course. They'd been on a nice winning streak since getting swept by the Twins. Looking good. I can hang with this.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roger Wins!

Would it look bad if I said something nice about Nadal now? Yeah. That's what I thought too. Hee.

Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal on...clay(!) yesterday. I'm still a little shocked by it. It's not that I haven't known for years that he had the game to beat the King of Clay, it's just that I, like most of Roger's fans, had come to believe he had lost the mental game against Nadal so thoroughly that it would take a monumental effort and everything in his arsenal to be working almost perfectly for it to happen.

That's what happened yesterday in the Madrid final. Roger's forehand and backhand were rock solid - the forehand looking the best I've seen all year as far as pace and accuracy went, and the backhand - his weakness against the lefty Nadal - did not crumble. In fact, I think I noticed some new (much needed) tactics there. He also very effectively employed the tactic of pulling Nadal out wide on his forehand side (where he has greater reach), and then driving the next ball down his backhand side. Not easy, but Roger made it look so yesterday. It's pretty clear that Roger has been thinking about this opportunity. And he capitalized on it. With calm and focus. Yeah, that demeanor has been sorely missed.

And his serve! He had it again. Not just the first, but the second serve - even scoring an ace on the second serve on one point. A lot of analysts and commentators have lazily tried to say that Roger had to up his game - that his rivals had caught up to his talent. I do think that his rivals have gotten a whole lot better (they're much younger than him in tennis years, after all), but I never believed that what we were watching this last year or so was Roger in full flight. The serve was key, and it wasn't there like it had been. Not so yesterday, and boy, was it beautiful. Up the "T", out wide, and just generally with more pace and bite. Lethal.

So what does this win mean? With his serve back, and his weapons firing, not to mention this mental boost to his confidence, Roger is looking ready to go toe to toe again with Nadal. Great news! I'm not sure what it means for Roland Garros, and the winning of the only Slam title Roger is missing, but I'm now feeling so much better about his chances.

Way to go, Roger!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Word About Rafael Nadal....

I had a whole post in mind, but I can't do it.

He won today. That's about all I can muster about him. And tomorrow he'll face Roger Federer in the final of the Madrid Masters tourney. I hate these Nadal/Fed finals. I'll need a Xanax. And a cocktail.

Go, Roger!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whew. Wings Win, 4-3 over Ducks.

Hey, they didn't exactly "stuff" the Ducks, but good enough.

I was at Dunleavy's Irish Pub tonight with my sister Moira, both of us wearing our Red Wings jerseys and cheering our Red Wings. The loudest two people in the place when the Wings scored. Hee. Hockey chicks.

Anyway, on to the Blackhawks. Go Wings! (I hope my heart can take it.)

Ok, so I have to keep up with El Pollo Real...

So here is my first blog post. It's really just a "hello".

Whew. This is harder than I thought. I'm already mentally exhausted.
Blogging is hard work.

(Oh, and don't forget to link me. Thanks!)

ADDED: Oh, and GO WINGS! Stuff those forkin' DUCKS tonight! (Or I'll cry?)