March 9, 2011 |
Kim Clijsters, the queen of normal, was brightening the interview room Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. She enters and the lights turn up, even if the switch had been flicked hours ago. There are tennis players who live in the vacuum that the pro tour provides, almost demands. And there are tennis players who walk right through the restrictive walls of celebrity, smell the flowers on the outside and still find a way to succeed. Clijsters is the latter. She is within a couple of well-hit backhands of being No. 1 in the world, again, for a fourth time.
December 13, 2010 |
Martina Navratilova has reached the summit of her sport 59 times. That represents 18 Grand Slam event titles in singles, 31 in women's doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. But last week, she found a mountain tougher than Steffi Graf's forehand or Billie Jean King's slice serve. It stands 19,341 feet and is named Kilimanjaro. "I had no pain," she said Sunday, "but I had to retire from my match. " She was speaking by telephone to a handful of reporters around the world. She said she was sitting in the garden at a friend's home in the Nairobi, Kenya, suburb of Karen.
December 2, 2010 |
When athletes are having a good game they often talk about things moving in slow motion. A study out of Purdue University finds that altered perceptions may be somewhat universal and tied to performance. The study, published recently in the journal Perception , tried out various scenarios on tennis players and on people who played a version of the old-school video game Pong. In the tennis experiment 36 male and female tennis students at various levels were tested on their perception of ball speed.
October 7, 2010
Listen up, tennis fans, it's quiz time. That explosive, guttural grunt issued by some of the world's best-known tennis players at the moment of contact with the ball is: a) a rude, pointless and annoying vogue that should be reined in by officials of the International Tennis Federation ; b) a forceful but involuntary exhalation of air that signals fierce exertion; or c) a habit that has the effect of -- and is probably aimed at -- distracting and intimidating an opponent. If you picked a , you have a number of sympathizers on the Booster Shots staff.
September 8, 2010 |
Rohan Bopanna is from India, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is from Pakistan, and for that reason what they have accomplished at the U.S. Open is worthy of praise. They have made it to the men's doubles finals. They beat Argentina's Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos, 7-6 (5), 6-4, on Wednesday and on Friday will play top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan, the Camarillo twins who are the winningest doubles team in history. But that isn't what matters most. It wasn't the classic movement around the court, the choreography of good doubles teams who two-step, sidestep, step up, step back to cover all the space that was good to see. It was there, sitting in the stands, side by side, the United Nations ambassadors from India and Pakistan, two countries that have fought three wars since 1947 when they gained independence from Britain.
September 5, 2010 |
Rafael Nadal easily navigated another pothole on his road to history Sunday, a history with which he has not quite come to grips. Besides the best game in tennis at the moment, the Spanish star had everything going for him in his third-round U.S. Open match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Skies were blue, the temperature was perfect, the puffs of wind were more comfort than pain. Plus, his opponent, 42nd-ranked Gilles Simon of France, was present, but elsewhere. Two days ago, his girlfriend gave birth in France to their first child, four weeks early, and Simon acknowledged afterward that he was more interested in seeing new son Timothy than more of Nadal's forehand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2010
Sir Percy Cradock British diplomat Sir Percy Cradock, 86, the British diplomat who negotiated the terms for returning Hong Kong to Chinese rule, died Jan. 22 after a brief illness, his family announced in London. Cradock was first posted to Hong Kong in 1961, then moved to Beijing the following year. After a stint in London, he was posted to Beijing again from 1966 to 1969 and was taken prisoner when the embassy was besieged by a mob during the Cultural Revolution.
December 18, 2009 |
French tennis player Richard Gasquet was cleared of any wrongdoing Thursday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted his claim that he tested positive for cocaine by kissing a woman in a nightclub. The CAS dismissed appeals by the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Tennis Federation, which wanted Gasquet banned for up to two years. "I'm absolutely relieved. This is the end of a crazy story," Gasquet said. "I'm happy to be 100% cleared." The court in Lausanne, Switzerland, accepted Gasquet's claim that he inadvertently consumed cocaine by kissing the woman in a Miami club hours after withdrawing injured from a tournament in March.
December 1, 2009 |
The news of the day is not that tennis fined Serena Williams. It is that tennis did something. For many, including this typist, the action was a shocker. Not the size of the fine, the existence of one. This is a sport that tiptoes around its superstars like lion trainers at the zoo during feeding time. Outbursts such as Williams' tirade of intimidation against a lineswoman in the semifinals of this year's U.S. Open usually send the mice in blazers scurrying to the basement. Tennis runs via a dysfunctional collection of Grand Slam officials, men's and women's tour officials, men's and women's tournament directors and players' agents.