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Serena Williams Top Spin 4 Ad Was Genius Marketing (Video)

There’s a video of Serena Williams in a Top Spin 4 ad that’s been making its way around the internet the past few days. Top Spin 4 has not associated itself with the video and the official trailer for the game is significantly different and cleaner. So what’s the story behind it?

As Sports by Brooks points out, the website joystik.com says the ad was clearly produced by 2K Sports even if they decided not to use it in official marketing of the product. It’s a racy commercial featuring Serena and another woman in lingerie and lots of sexual-sounding grunts. Best part of all, it raises awareness for the game. Here it is:

It’s easy to see why the commercial wasn’t used in official marketing, but it was sly to throw it out there anyhow. Think about how much more coverage the game received as a result. It reminds me a lot of the viral nudity campaign run by a shoe company last year.

Rafael Nadal Already in Finals of Paribas Open According to Tennis Channel

The only problem with the graphic above is that the semifinals of the Paribas Open at Indian Wells have yet to be played. Rafael Nadal still has to beat Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday before moving onto the finals to face the winner of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. I know the graphic has limited space for typing, but that’s no excuse — use last names only next time folks!

Credit to my mom for noticing this while watching the Federer-Wawrinka doubles match and sending in the tip. Thanks E!

Justine Henin Addresses Hand Incident with Serena Williams

Justine Henin has long been a rival of the Williams sisters, most notably Serena. Much of the friction between the two dates back to the 2003 French Open when Henin and Serena played in the semis. During the third set, Henin raised her hand to indicate she wasn’t ready to receive a serve from Serena. Serena served into the net and expected to repeat her first serve because Henin had told her to wait. When the point was brought up to the chair umpire, he deferred to Henin who kept silent in an unsportsmanlike move. Henin went on to win the match, coming back from down 4-2 in the final set. From that point on, the two were clear rivals, resulting in moments of profanity by Serena.

Now, years later, Henin has addressed that issue and several controversies from her career.

In an interview with a Belgian TV station, Henin talked about the hand incident from the French Open and seemed to indicate she kept quiet because of fear. Here’s the translation from tennis.com as relayed by OnTheGoTennis: “If I had been convinced that she had seen it, had been bothered by it, I might have reacted. But you react on instinct. At the same time what happened was magic. I don’t know if that changed the match. I hope I’m not saying that in bad faith.

Maybe it was a way to give me respect, because you know that Williams have an attitude, sometimes difficult. They play with a lot of intimidation. know that the Williams had attitudes that were sometimes difficult. Today, it doesn’t scare me any more.”

So Henin essentially said she was looking for an edge on the court and needed all the help she could get to stand up to Serena. The strategy did work because she came back to win the match. As for head-to-head, Serena leads 8-6 in their careers. Oh, and if coming clean on the hand incident wasn’t enough, Henin admits now that she cheated on a 2004 call in the Australian Open finals against Kim Clijsters. She’s not exactly the most sportsmanlike person around, and she drops in my book for that reason.

Andy Roddick Diving Shot Video – Best Shot of His Career Beats Milos Raonic

Andy Roddick hit the shot of the year in Memphis Sunday to beat Milos Raonic in the finals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. In an offensive struggle where service breaks were more rare than a cut of French meat, Roddick laid out on championship point to bring home his first title of 2011 and 30th of his career. Check out this incredible video of Andy Roddick’s diving shot to win the match:

Was that Andy Roddick on a hard court or Mike Cameron diving in the outfield grass for a web gem? We knew the guy was athletic but who knew he had that in him? That shot was all heart right there, and Roddick had the scrapes on his knee and elbow to prove it. Simply spectacular.

Another fun aspect of the shot was that Raonic instantly recognized the historical significance of the shot. During his runner-up speech he said “I think I might be on one of the YouTube’s most-viewed points. I’ll be on the wrong end of the court, but my name will at least be in the description.” Perfectly stated. Easily one of the best shots diving shots this side of Boris Becker at Wimbledon we’ve seen. It was also nice to see an awesome tennis shot that didn’t involve someone going between their legs.

Tennis Player Jelena Jankovic at Center of Sperm Bank Controversy

Jelena Jankovic is the women’s tennis player many of you know from this peep show she put on mid-match. I have a feeling after this story you all are going to remember her for something else.

On The Go Tennis shared with us the story of Jankovic’s recent controversy. A Swiss sperm bank apparently had these pictures of Jankovic on postcards to use as an advertisement. The caption says “make a donation here.”

Jankovic says the postcards were printed without her knowledge and consent, and apparently the company that printed them has pulled the cards. Hey, just as long as they’re only using the pictures to lure customers in and not to help the sperm-generating process, I think we’ll all be fine.

Oracene Price Wanted Li Na to Win, Called Kim Clijsters Dubious and Medusa

If you’re unfamiliar with Oracene Price, she’s the mother of Venus and Serena Williams. Oracene travels to many tennis events to support her daughters, though Serena did not play in the Australian Open and Venus lost in the third round.

Apparently she stopped following the tournament after Venus was defeated because she had to ask her twitter followers who had reached the finals of the tournament. Informed it was Li Na and Kim Clijsters, Price said she wanted Na to win. “I agree is would be cool for a Chinese to win. I like first timers. Also I don’t want My vision blurred!”

Then she explained her issues with Clijsters.

“Lets say I’m not pulling for the other one. I dislike dubious people,” Price wrote. She then elaborated on the vision blurred remark, “Did you peep that eye of hers It gives you the Madusah scare and turns you into solid stone. Don’t look at that eye.”

Look, Oracene’s allowed to have her likes and dislikes just like anyone else. But if you’re wondering where the outright disrespect comes from, it likely dates back to this incident at the 2009 U.S. Open. I tell you, there’s no wonder where Serena gets her attitude from. Too bad for Oracene that Clijsters won, but I’m guessing many more people were happy about that result than not.

via Chris Chase at Yahoo! Sports

Roger Federer Explains Previous Loss to Novak Djokovic Was Rafael Nadal Thing

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have met 19 times in their careers and Federer holds the head-to-head lead 13-6. Fed has won the past three matches between the two, but Novak got him when it mattered most — the semifinals of the U.S. Open. Djokovic won that match in five sets last year but wound up losing to Rafael Nadal in the finals. Both Novak and Roger agreed that a matter of a few shots determined who won or lost, but Roger offered up another potential reason for his defeat in September.

“Maybe I just felt like I have to get out of this match as quick as I could to save energy to play Rafa the next day,” Federer said prior to his semifinal match against Djokovic at the Australian Open. It’s a plausible explanation, considering how feared Nadal is as an opponent, and the issue that Federer would not have had a day off between the semis and finals.

Ironically enough, the finals ended up being postponed a day because of rain and Nadal won the tournament on Monday. Though looking ahead may have cost Federer at the U.S. Open, it may have taught him a valuable lesson he can apply for the future: always go all out to ensure you win your current match otherwise there won’t be a next match. We also call that the Lou Piniella Rule.