chair umpire

Wimbledon Survivors Recognized in New “Bud Collins History of Tennis” Book

NEW YORK – Bud Collins, the man who many call the walking encyclopedia of tennis, has released a second edition of his famous tennis encyclopedia and record book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS.

The 816-page second-edition volume – the most authoritative compilation of records, biographies and information on the sport of tennis – is dedicated to John Isner, Nicolas Mahut and chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, the three “survivors” from the record-breaking longest match of all-time at 2010 Wimbledon, won by Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 in 11 hours, five minutes, featuring a record 113 aces from Isner.

“Has the Isner – Mahut match ended yet? You can find out in this book!” quipped Collins.

Collins, the Hall of Fame tennis journalist, broadcaster and personality, is the longtime columnist for the Boston Globe and a 1994 inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He is covering the U.S. Championships for a 56th time in 2010. He will be signing books at the US Open Bookstore during the duration of the 2010 US Open. Readers can also order the book HERE:

THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press) is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information, including year-by-year recaps of every tennis season, biographical sketches of every major tennis personality, as well as stats, records, and championship rolls for all the major events. The author’s personal relationships with major tennis stars offer insights into the world of professional tennis found nowhere else.

Among those endorsing THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS include the two women who hold the Wimbledon record for most total titles – Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King – who both won 20 Wimbledon titles in their careers. Said Navratilova, “If you know nothing about tennis, this book is for you. And if you know everything about tennis—Hah!—Bud knows more, so this book is for you too!” Said King, “We can’t move forward if we don’t understand and appreciate our past. This book not only provides us with accurate reporting of the rich tennis history, it keeps us current on the progress of the sport today.” Also endorsing the book is author, commentator and Sports Illustrated contributor Frank Deford, who stated,“No tennis encyclopedia could be written by anyone but Bud Collins because Bud Collins is the walking tennis encyclopedia—the game’s barefoot professor. The only thing missing about the sport from his new edition is a section about Bud himself. But everything else is there—and it’s easy to open and use for the whole family.” Said Dick Enberg of CBS Sports and ESPN, “Did you ever see an encyclopedia walking? That’s Bud Collins (who sometimes runs, too). Plunge into his book and swim joyfully through the history of tennis. It’s all here.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is also the publisher of “The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection” (www.RogerFedererBook.com) by Rene Stauffer, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes and Petr Kolar, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda, “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook” by Eric Rabinowitz and “Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse” by Jack McDermott, among others. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.

Nadal And Djokovic Lose In Doubles

Was it really worth all that hype?

The super-duo of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Rogers Cup in the first round late last night at the hands of Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil.

The mostly unheard of Raonic/Pospisil pairing came back to win the match 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in front of an electric opening night crowd at the Rexall Centre.

At only 19 and 20 years old respectively, Raonic and Pospisil defied the odds and somehow managed to avoid the nerves that must have accompanied sharing a court with the two top ranked players in the world.

Serving at 8-2 in the Super tie-break, Raonic and Pospisil appeared to have won the next point which would have given them six match points. Instead the chair umpire called Pospisil for touching the net prior to the point ending, thus giving the point to Nadal and Djokovic. The call seemed to temporarily rattle the Canadians as they allowed their more experienced opponents to bring the match all the way back to 9-8 with still one match point to try to capitalize upon. On that point they made no mistake and an authoritative Pospisil volley ended the match and allowed the two to walk out with their heads held high.

The Nadal/Djokovic partnership marks the first time since 1976 that the world’s top ranked singles players have joined forces in doubles on the ATP Tour. Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe were the last to do it and after last night’s result I wonder if it might be another 34 years before we see it again.

While it certainly created quite a buzz both here in Toronto and around the tennis world at large, the fact that the number one and two players joined forces is perplexing in many ways. Obviously Nadal and Djokovic get along quite well, as was further evidenced by their multiple practice sessions together here this week, but in an individualistic sport such as tennis you’d think teaming up with your greatest competition is a bit too close for comfort.

Roger Federer mentioned in his pre-tournament press conference yesterday that he never would have teamed up with Nadal during the height of their intense rivalry. Even though those two also got along reasonably well, the press had created such a build-up with their quest for Grand Slam glory and the number one ranking that it basically negated any possibility of a doubles partnership.

“Well, Rafa asked me a few years ago to play doubles in I think it was Madrid indoors…but then I think our rivalry was so intense, I just felt it was the wrong thing to do,” Federer revealed.

“It would have been great for the game, but I think it would have been a bit of a curveball for everybody. I don’t think the press would have enjoyed it so much. They want to put us against each other, not with each other.”

Nadal and Djokovic are in the infancy of their relationship as the best two players in the world and there is no guarantee it will last very long. Djokovic’s lead over Federer and Murray in the rankings is slim and he hasn’t had the most consistent year on tour. Maybe if their chase for the top ranking was narrower they would have thought twice before teaming up in Toronto.

Regardless, their experiment has ended prematurely and will now allow them both to concentrate on their singles play. For Nadal, he will open Wednesday night against the winner of the Frank Dancevic/Stan Wawrinka match that will close out the evening on Centre Court today. Djokovic will play Julien Benneteau of France tomorrow during the day session.

RODDICK NEEDS TO GET A GRIP ON HIS EMOTIONS: THE FRIDAY FIVE

By Maud Watson

Rattled Roddick – In the second round encounter earlier this week at the Australian Open between Andy Roddick and Thomaz Bellucci, Bellucci hit a shot on match point down that was initially called out. Bellucci challenged the call. Hawk-eye showed the ball in, and chair umpire Fergus Murphy awarded the point to Bellucci. At the end of the match, Roddick railed on Murphy for awarding that first match point in Bellucci’s favor, refusing to shake Murphy’s hand at the end, which earned him a round of boos from the crowd. After viewing the tape, Roddick admitted he may have been wrong than he realized but still felt on a big point like that, Murphy should have ruled to replay it. Why? If Murphy felt Roddick didn’t have a play on the ball, how is it fair to not award the point to Bellucci, the player who was match point down? Furthermore, while Bellucci played well, Roddick was schooling him out on the court. Barring a miracle, there was no way Roddick wasn’t walking off that court the winner, whether it took one match point or ten. Roddick needs to learn to get a grip on his emotions. He’s developed a habit of arguing with chair umps, and it’s embarrassing. American tennis has already had to endure the tirades of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. It shouldn’t have to endure those of Roddick, too.

New Year, Same Serena – For those of you who saw ESPN2’s coverage of Day 2, you know that Serena Williams was interviewed and asked about her reaction to the ITF’s ruling in her infamous US Open outburst. While Serena claimed to be sorry and turning the whole incident into a positive by holding an auction to raise money for her charity, she also had the audacity to claim the fine was excessive given the behavior of past players and implied it would have been less had she been a man. First, while her raising money for her charity is a good deed, it in no way makes up for her behavior at the US Open. Second, it’s ludicrous she thinks the fine is excessive and would have been less if she were a man. I realize this is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but when someone like Martina Hingis gets slapped with a two-year ban for a flimsy positive cocaine test, or Yanina Wickmayer faces losing up to a year of her career for violating the controversial “whereabouts rule,” I’d say Serena got off easy for going out on the largest court in the world in front of television audiences from all over the globe and threatening to kill a line judge by cramming a tennis ball down her throat. It’s clear Serena hasn’t learned her lesson, and I give props to ESPN’s Darren Cahill for being the lone commentator who had the guts to say she should have been suspended, as she certainly would have if she played any other sport.

Sharapova Stutters – Maria Sharapova’s comeback from injury suffered a major setback, as she lost in the opening round of the Australian Open to countrywoman Maria Kirilenko. Sharapova looked rusty, and much like Pam Shriver on ESPN, I was left to question Sharapova’s preparation. She’d hardly played competitive tennis since her early exit at the US Open, yet she chose to play an exhibition instead of a sanctioned tournament to prepare for the first major of the year? It was painfully obvious she didn’t see the problem with this either, as she stated in her interview that she didn’t know what lack of match practice had to do with failing to put the return in play when her opponent was down break point. Maybe her coach Michael Joyce should explain to her the fundamental differences between exhibitions and sanctioned matches.

Great Match, Bad Timing – It was arguably one of the greatest second-round matchups in Grand Slam history as Elena Dementieva took on Justine Henin, the latest top player to come out of retirement. This match definitely lived up to its billing as both players traded bludgeoning groundstrokes and refused to give up ground as they dashed about the court in a desperate attempt to swing the momentum to their own side. In the end, it was Henin who held her nerve longer and took the match in two tight sets. The great tennis aside, it’s a tragedy that the Australian Open so needlessly lost one of the top contenders for the title in the second round. Tournament organizers were given the green light to seed Henin, despite her lack of ranking, and opted to take a pass. I think they missed the boat on that one.

Coverage Woes – I’m grateful that ESPN2 is covering a fair amount of the Australian Open, as I don’t currently get the Tennis Channel. That said, the amount of filler interviews and commentary they have is ridiculous. The first night of coverage started late due to a basketball game running over the allotted time, but instead of going straight to the tennis, viewers had to hear what each of the commentators had to say about players’ chances at the opening major of 2010. And whose bright idea was it to interview Sam Querrey while Kirilenko was upsetting Sharapova in Round 1?  When coverage started on Wednesday night, Patrick McEnroe informs the audience that Baghdatis is in the process of staging a comeback from two sets down against David Ferrer, but do they go to the match?  No, because viewers must be subjected to the two cents’ worth of every commentator on the network. People tune in to watch the tennis, so if anyone at ESPN is reading this, less talk, more action.

MURRAY IS AEGON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: TENNIS IN THE COMMONWEALTH

By Leigh Sanders

Last week saw the British Tennis Awards 2009 decided in an informal ceremony at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. World No. 4 Andy Murray scooped the AEGON Player of the Year Award while US-Open Girls champion Heather Watson picked up the AEGON Junior Player of the Year gong. The formidable doubles pairing Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, known affectionately as ‘Flemski,’ picked up the British Tennis Team of the Year award after climbing up the rankings throughout 2009. University of Bath tennis coach Barry Scollo was awarded the top coach gong for his “contagious energy” and his insistence that his players as well as himself play to the best of their ability and ITF Silver Badge Chair Umpire James Keothavong took home the ABTO Official of the Year title. He oversaw the 2009 Wimbledon ladies’ doubles final whilst also being the only Silver Badge Chair Umpire to call a Davis Cup quarterfinal.

The full honours list:

  • AEGON Player of the Year – Andy Murray
  • AEGON Junior Player of the Year – Heather Watson
  • AEGON Coach of the Year Award – Barry Scollo
  • Highland Spring Hot Shots Tour Award – Maia Lumsden
  • BNP Paribas Lifetime Achievement Award – Margaret Holder
  • ABTO Official of the Year – James Keothavong
  • British Tennis Team of the Year – Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski
  • British Tennis Young Volunteer of the Year – Hugo Allen
  • British Tennis Club of the Year – Boston Tennis Club, Lincolnshire.
  • British Tennis Veteran of the Year Award – Christine French

*Andy Roddick and Serena Williams hope to represent the USA in mixed doubles after it was added to the 2012 Olympic Games program in Great Britain following approval from the IOC. Roddick confirmed on his Twitter account: “It’s confirmed! Serena and Andy teaming up for mixed doubles at 2012 games if they push the mixed doubles through.” However they face competition from Bob Bryan and Serena’s older sister Venus for the honour of competing at the prestigious games. The matches will be held on the grass courts of Wimbledon.

*Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt has been named third in the ATP top five players of the decade. Described as a “feisty Australian” he became the youngest winner on the ATP Tour, taking his home-town title in Adelaide in January 1998 at just 16 years, 10 months. He took the 2001 US Open crown, ending Sampras’ dominance in the final and also became the first Australian and the youngest ATP World Tour Champion that same year. In 2002 he defeated David Nalbandian to hoist the Wimbledon trophy aloft and became the only player along with Roger Federer to become ATP World Tour Champion multiple times this decade. This achievement also ranked at 9 in the ATP’s top ten records/achievements of the decade. He was also runner up at the 2004 US Open and the 2005 Australian Open.

*While in the ATP’s Greatest Near Misses category, the 2009 Wimbledon final is ranked second in the top five in reference to Roddick’s battling performance and Aussie Pat Rafter’s consecutive Wimbledon final defeats in 2000 and 2001 rank fifth.

*British tennis star Anne Keothavong has been meeting with designer Paul Costelloe to help design Britain’s off-court outfits for their upcoming BNP Paribas Fed Cup ties.

*Canadian doubles expert and Toronto native Daniel Nestor has been named the George Cross/Toronto Sun Sportsman of the Year.

*Young American star Ryan Harrison has booked himself a place in the main draw at the 2010 Australian Open after winning the USTA Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs in Atlanta. He beat the No. 1 seed Jesse Levine 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in the final.

*Not long after renewing its partnership with National Bank until 2013, Tennis Canada has announced the return of the National Bank Circuit which will be played out in five major Quebec cities throughout the 2010 season.

25 Years Ago – Answer my question! The question, jerk!

It was 25 years ago on November 4, 1984 that John McEnroe performed one of his most famous temper tantrums. It was against Anders Jarryd in the semifinals of the Stockholm Open in Sweden where McEnroe loudly asked the chair umpire to “Ask my question. The question, jerk.” The official summary of the event is excerpted below from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.Tennishistorybook.com) and the following two YouTube links provide some visual effect as well seen here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j0eqZKTjpk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v16tKIAddmQ

1984 – John McEnroe conducts one of his worst on-court tirades of his career, slamming a ball into the stands, calling the chair umpire a jerk and slamming a soda can with his racquet during a change-over in a 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 semifinal win over Anders Jarryd at the Stockholm Open in Sweden. Says McEnroe, who is fined $2,100, “I’m mentally tired at the moment. That’s one of the reasons I lost my temper.” Says Jarryd, “It is very difficult to play against someone who behaves like McEnroe.” In the second game of the match, McEnroe hits a fan with a ball, giving him his first penalty of the match. Following the infraction, he goes on to lose the next 15 points of the match. Leading 4-2 in the second set, McEnroe exclaims to the chair umpire “Answer my question! The question, jerk!” causing for a point penalty for verbal abuse. After losing his serve for 4-3 moments later, McEnroe then slams a soda can with his racquet on the changeover, resulting in a game penalty.

Bizarre Ending To Serena Williams’ US Open Title Defense

NEW YORK — Serena Williams excited the US Open in unprecedented fashion Saturday night as she was issued a point penalty on match point for threatening a linesperson who had just called a foot-fault on her. Williams, the defending champion, lost to Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-5 upset victory to unseeded, unranked mother Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who will face No. 9 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the final.

With Williams serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the second set, she faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called a foot fault, making it a double-fault. That made the score 15-40, putting Clijsters one point from victory.

According to the Associated Press, Williams, in a fit of anger, screamed to the linesperson, “If I could, I would take this (expletive) ball and shove it down your (expletive) throat.”

She continued yelling at the line judge, and went back over, shaking her racket in the official’s direction.

Asked in her postmatch news conference what she said to the line judge, Williams wouldn’t say, replying, “What did I say? You didn’t hear?”

“I’ve never been in a fight in my whole life, so I don’t know why she would have felt threatened,” Williams said with a smile.

The line judge went over to the chair umpire, and tournament referee Brian Earley joined in the conversation. With the crowd booing — making part of the dialogue inaudible — Williams then went over and said to the line judge: “Sorry, but there are a lot of people who’ve said way worse.” Then the line judge said something to the chair umpire, and Williams responded, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn’t say that.” The line judge replied by shaking her head and saying, “Yes.”

Williams already had been given a code violation warning when she broke her racket after losing the first set. So the chair umpire now awarded a penalty point to Clijsters, ending the match.

“She was called for a foot fault, and a point later, she said something to a line umpire, and it was reported to the chair, and that resulted in a point penalty,” Earley explained. “And it just happened that point penalty was match point. It was a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

When the ruling was announced, Williams walked around the net to the other end of the court to shake hands with a stunned Clijsters, who did not appear to understand what had happened.

“I used to have a real temper, and I’ve gotten a lot better,” Williams said later. “So I know you don’t believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes, indeed.”

Lost in the theatrics was Clijsters’ significant accomplishment: In only her third tournament back after 2 1/2 years in retirement, the 26-year-old Belgian became the first mother to reach a Grand Slam final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon 1980.

“The normal feelings of winning a match weren’t quite there,” Clijsters said. “But I think afterwards, when everything kind of sunk in a little bit and got explained to me about what happened, yeah, you kind of have to put it all in place, and then it becomes a little bit easier to understand and to kind of not celebrate, but at least have a little bit of joy after a match like that.”

Clijsters hadn’t competed at the U.S. Open since winning the 2005 championship. Now she will play for her second career major title Sunday against No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 in the other rain-delayed women’s semifinal.

Full coverage from social networks and other news organizations can be seen and linked below….

SERENA INCIDENT ON YOUTUBE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm-Mj0vjJ_s

ESPN.COM COVERAGE – http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen09/columns/story?columnist=garber_greg&id=4468470

SERENA’s POST MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2009-09-12/200909121252748398140.html

RICHARD DEITSCH OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/richard_deitsch/09/13/serena.meltdown/?eref=T1

SERENA’S “OTHER” FOOT FAULT – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jtLUtcL-D8&NR=1

FILIP BONDY OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_serena_williams_exit_from_us_open_semifinal_match_is_no_cause_to_cheer.html

BILL DWYRE OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre-us-open13-2009sep13,0,5348697.column?page=1

MIKE LUPICA OF THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/09/13/2009-09-13_unlike_derek_jeter_mariano_riveras_greatness_cant_be_tied_to_a_number.html

MARK BERMAN OF THE NEW YORK POST – http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/tennis/serena_bounced_after_court_tirade_ITh1PwYKOmkm1Mw90NqHHI