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Novak Djokovic Beat Roger Federer at the Australian Open, Wow

This week has been perfect for me; I’m not used to watching live sporting events while doing the site. With the Australian Open, I’ve been catching all the matches live and have witnessed the upsets as they’ve occurred. And of all the results these past two weeks, perhaps none was more significant than Novak Djokovic beating Roger Federer. Djokovic knocked off Federer in straight sets, though I wouldn’t call it a dominant win. Djokovic controlled the match, yet he struggled against the world’s top player. But Novak had confidence, and he had the strokes, and he didn’t crumble when he got down a break in the 1st set, nor when he trailed in the third set tiebreaker before closing out the match. Novak without a doubt proved that he is for real, and that there is a bonafide change on the tennis landscape.

Roger Federer is a man in the prime of his career, at the peak of his game. He rarely loses. He hardly even loses sets. He has reached the finals of the past 10 grand slam events, and won eight of them. Such a run in men’s tennis is unprecedented. Roger Federer has easily been the most dominant player in sports over the past three years. As he said in his post-match press conference, he’s created a monster because he needs to win every tournament. Everyone wonders about him if he even loses a set in a match — they say he’s playing poorly. And alas, Federer was knocked off the mountain top, by someone other than Nadal, on a surface other than clay, in a Grand Slam. And that is a monumental event in men’s tennis. Novak Djokovic has most definitely arrived.

(and may he continue his hilarious impressions and karaoke)

The Venus and Serena Williams Era of Dominance Is Over

The recent grand slam results for each of them speak loudly, starting with the quarterfinal exit by both Venus and Serena at the Australian Open. The sisters are still top 10 players who can go far in the tournaments, but it’s no longer a lock that at least one sister will reach the finals, or even semifinals of a grand slam event. Venus Williams expressed the same sentiment in her post-match comments following her quarterfinal loss to Ana Ivanovic. As Venus said, she and Serena are playing at a good level, it’s just that the competition is improving (and surpassing them, I believe). It’s also a matter of the two women being past their peaks, which is typically at a much younger age for women in tennis than men.

Usually at a grand slam event, one of them goes far, if not both. If one goes out early, at least the other goes farther, like to the semis or finals. I’m not saying that they should be pulling titles left and right — that is unreasonable. The reality of the situation is that there are several good, young players in the game today who can knock either one out. No, I’m not completely writing the sisters off here, but I will say it without a doubt, this Australian Open marked the definite end of dominance by the Williams sisters. I think I’m being fair when I say I’ll give them one more grand slam title between the two of them for the rest of their careers.

Announcer Roger Rasheed Likes Venus Williams’ Ass


Just last week we had a Golf Channel announcer make an off color remark about Tiger Woods — and that’s putting it mildly. Maybe I’m talking to myself here when I say that announcers need to watch what they say on-air. Remember a while back we had the story of the women’s basketball announcer who thought one of the coaches was hot but didn’t realize his microphone was live when he said it? Yeah, that was bad. Well Roger Rasheed is following in everyone’s footsteps. Check out what happened with him:

Roger Rasheed, a former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, commented on Williams bottom during a slow motion replay of her match against China’s Yan Zi at the Australian Open.

“Take a look at this now. Make or think as you will, ladies, but for me, that’s a pretty good sight,” The Daily Telegraph quoted him, as telling co-commentators Tracy Austin and Nicole Bradtke.

And while the two women found it funny, viewers certainly didnt and broadcaster Channel Seven was inundated with calls.

Though admitting that there had been a number of calls, the broadcaster maintained that there would be no action taken against Rasheed for his comments.

Now, I wonder what Venus’ alleged fiance would have to say about all this? Probably would just take it as a compliment — after all, it’s Serena who’s quite bootylicious.

UPDATE: video below, via Awful Announcing and FanIQ

[Read more...]

Now Introducing Tamira Paszek

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so I won’t waste any more of them.

Tamira Paszek

So yeah, she’s a tennis player from Austria and lost to Jelena Jankovic in the Australian Open this week. Oh yeah. And she’s 17. But that’s not for too long. Tamira has some goods, but she’s no Ana Ivanovic if you ask me.

Thanks to Andy for passing along. (also spotted at Deadspin, SbB, and WL)

Venus Williams and Hank Kuehne Now Possibly Engaged?

Venus Williams and Hank Kuehne

I told you before about Venus Williams and Hank Kuehne getting pretty close to each other and being photographed together at Wimbledon. Well, the cushy couple are now reportedly set to get married. It’s being said that boyfriend Hank has popped the question:

Venus Williams will soon be planning her wedding now that beau Hank Kuehne has popped the question.

The news of the engagement comes after a year of courtship.

A source close to the star tells MediaTakeOut.com, that the couple are trying to stay away from the spotlight especially as Williams is preparing for the Australian Open.

Venus is preparing for (the Australian Open) and she doesn’t need the (media) distraction, Contactmusic quoted the source, as saying.

Best of luck to the pair and hopefully the marriage works out. Hopefully Venus can find a way to balance her tennis career with a new love life and family, just as she was able to balance out going to college with tennis. Congrats to Venus and Hank if the rumors of the marriage are true. Now, who will be lucky enough to marry Venus’ bootylicious sister, Serena?

Is the Mafia Infiltrating Tennis?

Russian tennis player Nikolay Davydenko is being investigated for possibly fixing matches. There have already been players found to be betting on the sport. And coming off the Tim Donaghy scandal in the NBA, we now have John McEnroe who fears that the mafia could be infiltrating tennis. Says McEnroe,

“The thing that worries me is that mafia types, like the Russian mafia, could be involved. That’s potentially pretty dark and scary,” McEnroe told The Daily Telegraph.

“I think that’s the side that people aren’t really looking at with these match-fixing stories. Someone may have threatened the players, and they are put in a situation. I’m guessing that could happen. That would make more sense to me than top players throwing a match for money.

“Throwing a match for money would be stupid, as you would be risking losing what you’ve worked for your whole life. It seems crazy that players would take that risk for money. It would make more sense that they’ve been threatened in some way and that’s why they’re doing it.”

He makes a good point — highly ranked players who worked that hard wouldn’t have an inclination to tank matches — least you wouldn’t think. One place where I wouldn’t guess mafia ties are involved is when the lower ranked players throw matches. They could probably make more money from tanking matches than they could from losing in the first or second round of a tournament, so it doesn’t necessarily translate to pressure from the mafia. Still, this is some scary stuff that I hope is not going on.

Anna Kournikova Might Be Engaged

Like I posted at FanHouse, the rumors are floating that Anna Kournikova might have gotten engaged to Enrique Iglesias. I for one, am not a fan of this news. Last we heard, Iglesias had no plans to marry or have kids with Kournikova (thank goodness). But now the reports say the two could be engaged:

Enrique Iglesias has sparked rumours he has proposed to long-term girlfriend ANNA KOURNIKOVA, after the tennis ace was spotted wearing a $6 million (£3 million) engagement ring.

The singer has previously refused to confirm the couple is engaged, but the sportswoman was photographed in London wearing a diamond on her left hand on Tuesday (04Dec07) in London.

Well, I have heard of waitresses wearing rings on their fingers to avoid being hit on all the time. Somehow I think this is slightly different. From Pavel Bure to Sergei Federov and now Enrique Iglesias, I’ve survived many rumors before. Don’t worry, Anna, I’ll still be here when you’re done with that chump.