© Ella Ling

Laura Robson

Oddballs and Oddities


A smattering of the weird and wonderful things in tennis this week

The week after a grand slam, you might think, might be a little on the quiet side as far as off court activities go. But oh, no.

Robson’s rap
It all started off at a Fed Cup tie in Eilat, Israel, when Laura Robson decided to insert youthful enthusiasm into the traditional rookie speech. Instead of diatribing about how privileged she was to be competing, and how much she was looking forward to going through the experience of playing for her country at the most senior level possible, 18-year-old Robson decided to rap.

And not just any rap. Her rendition of “I like big butts” was so stirring, that Anne Keothavong has been quoting it all week…Watch for mentions in this video.

In fact, the whole of Team GB’s antics in Israel are worth keeping tabs on. Some of the most innovative team chants you’ve ever seen, puffa jackets, and a lot of giggles. Girls at a team competition, basically.

Serena’s got a new pal
The twitterverse was abuzz with the fact that Serena Williams spent her post Australian Open wallow hanging out with none other than one of tennis’s newest bad boys, Grigor Dimitrov. Of course, being Serena, things were rather blown out of proportion, and the fact that it wasn’t just the two of them, was helpfully excluded.

Novak Djokovic going ACDC
The new Australian Open champion, read defending champion, spent the minutes before his post-final press conference wowing Australian Open staff with a rendition of ‘Highway to Hell’, the timeless classic, in particularly tuneful fashion. Taking photos with various members of staff, Djokovic was hot property.

So hot, in fact, that 14-year-old Melissa Cook tried to take Yael Rothschild to court for stealing the shirt that Novak threw into the crowd after beating Rafael Nadal in 5 hours and 53 minutes. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that the 14-year-old won in the end, her mother buying back the shirt for 5 and a half thousand Australian dollars.

Speaking of Australian Open champions…
Victoria Azarenka spent one of her brief moments before heading to Worcester, Massachussets, for the Fed Cup tie between Belarus and the USA in the studios of Ellen de Generes for the Ellen Show. She was a hit, by all accounts.

What of Wozniacki?
Not only has Caroline Wozniacki, the former world number one, already parted company with new coach Ricardo Sanchez, who was reportedly fired by the Dane and her father Piotr in the aftermath of the Australian Open, she also came a mere No.79 on Ask Men’s top 99 women list. What was more humiliating, one wonders.

Yet another tennis parent
The tales of tennis parents’ wrongdoing ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, Peter Graf’s tax evasion, Damir Dokic’s terrorism, to name but a few. But Henry Zahlavova Strycova, father of Barbora, has been detained on charges of drug distribution, specifically cocaine and marijuana.

Hello Porsche Team Germany…
Not a new Formula One team, but the new name bestowed on the German Fed Cup team, after the German car manufacturer extended their sponsorship of the sport to the national side.