twitters

WHEN TENNIS GETS GOING, TENNIS GOES INDIAN WELLS

So one of my favourite tournaments of the year starts this week and I am all excited about it. I have tracked many of my favorite tennis players through twitter and subscribed to many RSS feeds of various tennis site to be completely up-to-date as possible. It’s time to get ready for a good time, sunny weather and Eurosport.

I have read Bobby Chintapalli’s comprehensive list of favorites to win the tournament and I agree with most of them.  The only big name that was missing from that list was Caroline Wozniacki. Though I understand the criteria Chintapalli to compile the list and her reasons to leave out Wozniacki from her, otherwise, great list.

Chintapalli argues, and I quote:

I had to start somewhere, and I started with the players who have the best match win percentages so far this year. Of course there are many other great players with the potential to go far at Indian Wells. (Caroline Wozniacki’s clearly very good and very good for tennis, but her match win percentage this year is 57.1% — that’s the only reason she’s not on this list.)

Like I said, her argument for leaving out Wozniacki is a good one.

Then I started to read the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour website.  And every week they have a player from the WTA Tour blog from a certain location. I have to say that I loved the introduction to the blog of this week’s player.

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA – Indian Wells has been the stage for some of Daniela Hantuchova’s most glorious moments, so is there really anywhere better for the Slovak No.1 to do the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Blog from?

It’s true. I remember vividly when Hantuchova beat Hingis back then.  And I remember the second time that she won the tournament too. Hantuchova is a master on the courts of Indian Wells and always a force to be reckoned with. You never know.  Life’s full of surprises, so is tennis.

After that I started to read the Twitters of Elena Dementieva and Victoria Azarenka, just to see what they were up to and if they had any expectations.

Victoria “Vika” Azarenka prepared herself for the tournament hitting some balls with Gisela Dulko and afterwards she told that Kim Clijsters entered the courts.  Then there was something funny on Vika’s Twitter account.

Somebody asked her what she would like to have as an extraordinary talent.

Her answer:

my personal answer is i want to be able to read people minds! it think its kinda cool! well thanks again..i hope u enjoyed it as well

To read more about Victoria Azarenka, sign up for Twitter and start following her  @vika7 . She’s often very funny and takes time out for her fans.

Elena Dementieva’s Twitter was less interesting. It’s less personal but she did leave a link to an audiocast with an interview of her at Indian Wells. You can find it by clicking here: http://www.bnpparibasopen.org/News/Interviews-Audio/Interviews-Audio.aspx More interviews are available including but not limited to: Caroline Wozniacki (who has surprisingly not Twittered about Indian Wells at all) and Sam Stosur.

Then I decided to hop over to a very decent site that I have visited quite a lot in the past two weeks. It’s WTA  Women’s Tennis who have  comprehensive coverage with great videos and photos of the Indian Wells tournament. Like the photos of Jelena Jankovic training. If she doesn’t win the tournament then she at least should win the “The most beautiful smile” award. Because that’s what she has.

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Courier “Tweets”- And Beats McEnroe at Turning Stone Resort

VERONA, N.Y., May 2 – Jim Courier not only beat John McEnroe in a tennis match Saturday night, but “tweeted” about it as well.

Using the social network “Twitter” to update fans and followers via his blackberry on changeovers, Courier beat McEnroe 6-3, 4-6, (10-4 in Champions Tie-breaker) in a special “Legendary Night Exhibition” at the Turning Stone Resort in Central New York.

“Posting was a fun exercise,” said Courier, who can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimcourier. “It forced me to evaluate what was happening in real time although it also made me realize my thumbs are slow for typing. Hopefully it gives some insight into the mind of a tennis player in the heat of battle. I am looking forward to checking out the transcript and seeing if I actually made any sense or was just babbling.”

Courier is believed to be the first professional tennis player to use Twitter or any social networking device while competing in a professional match. The use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are forbidden in the rules of tennis as it opens up the possibility of illegal coaching. Courier’s match with McEnroe Saturday was not an officially sanctioned match or part of the Outback Champion Series global tennis circuit where Courier and McEnroe now compete. Courier frequently uses Twitter to connect with fans, comment on current issues in professional tennis and discuss behind-the-scenes details of the Outback Champions Series.

“Mac 2-1 on serve. Ball’s moving fast w/ppl in bldg. Feel good so far,” was Courier’s first in-match “tweet” during a changeover as McEnroe took a 2-1 lead.

Courier broke McEnroe’s serve in the fifth game of the match, tweeting of McEnroe double-fault on break point and of having to be aggressive on his forehand, “Got the break 3-2. Mac df on bp. I need to stay down and go after fh more. Covering it too much. Stay slow on 1st serve. Rushing a bit.”

Four games later, Courier broke McEnroe again to close out the first set 6-3, documenting McEnroe’s anger in breaking a racquet by tweeting, “6-3 JC. Mini McFreak. Broke a stick. Some shaky calls out here. I start serve 2nd set. Feeling better now. Got to keep driving the ball.”

Later in the second set, after taking a 2-1 lead, Courier, then tweeted, “2-1 JC on serve. Keep aggressive on his serve works well. Almost broke 2nd game. He’s edgy”

Two games later, taking a 3-2 lead, Courier wrote, “3-2. Tight service game. Was down bp. Served out of it. Rushed that game 2 dbl flts. Relax!!!”

McEnroe broke Courier in the seventh game of the second set, benefitting from Courier missing an easy forehand on break point. On the changeover, Courier wrote, “Gagged a fh sitter to lose serve 4-3 mac. Gotta refocus. Loose game there” Then two games later, Courier typed, “4-5. Gotta break. Stay down and rip returns. No cute shots.”

McEnroe served out the set the next game – forcing a first-to-ten points “Champions Tie-Breaker” played in lieu of a third set. Courier cruised to win the tie-breaker 10-4, winning eight of the last 10 points of the match.

Courier’s final tweets concluded, “10-4 in the breaker my way…served huge and ripped some passing shots. Felt good to finish big. I hit a rick-donk-u-lous slice angle pass to go up 2 minibreaks off of a sick mac approach. Yee haw.”

Following the singles match, Courier continued to document the evening of highly-entertaining tennis as he and Tracy Austin were defeated by McEnroe and Anna Kournikova 6-4, 2-6, (10-4 Champions Tie-Breaker) in mixed doubles.

The line of the evening may have come from McEnroe, who while serving at set point at 5-4 in the mixed doubles, yelled to Courier on the other side of the net, “Do you want to twitter before I serve?” Courier smiled and McEnroe then fired an ace up the middle by Courier to close out the first set.

The Legendary Night was run by the Turning Stone Resort in conjunction with InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, the New York-based sports marketing company co-founded by Courier that also runs the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Courier is one of 15 men in the history of tennis to play in all four Grand Slam tournament finals. He won two French Open singles titles (1991 and 1992) and two Australian Open titles (1992 and 1993) and was a Wimbledon finalist in 1993 and a US Open finalist in 1991. Courier finished the 1992 season as the world No. 1 ranked player and won 29 career titles (23 singles titles, 6 doubles). He also helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 1992 and 1995. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

Home to the PGA TOUR’s Turning Stone Resort Championship, the Turning Stone Resort delivers AAA Four Diamond award-winning accommodations, world-class gaming and entertainment, five challenging golf courses, a private dance club and a world-class spa. The Turning Stone Resort is located 35 miles south of Syracuse and just a four hour drive from New York City. More information can be found at www.turningstone.com.

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.