© Ella Ling


Oddballs and Oddities


A smattering of the strange and unusual from the tennis world this week

You have to give the woman (or her team) credit. In a whirlwind of media savvy productivity, Martina Naratilova was not only unveiled as only the second tennis player to agree to don her dancing shoes and appear on Dancing with the Stars, she took to twitter in the same breath, unveiling herself as @Martina.

As the gags about her beating Martina Hingis to the punch roamed around the social networking site, she’s already proved an instant hit. “I see the paparazzi seem to be liking me this time around, wish they were nicer to me in the 80’s but then I am probably nicer too…” is just one of the gems she’s produced so far.

Doing the rounds
Tennis players don’t just try the reality TV route these days, they also brave the chat show circuit…Novak Djokovic on Tonight with Jay Leno, Victoria Azarenka on Ellen, you name it. But this week saw two classic examples of when it doesn’t quite work.

First, Maria Sharapova survived an awkward encounter on Chelsea Lately, although to be fair to Sharapova, she handled it with humorous aplomb.

But the second, Caroline Wozniacki’s appearance on Good Day New York, was a fumbletastic mess, the anchors Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly littering the interview with untruths as poor Wozniacki sat looking like she’d rather be anywhere else, and consequently gave nothing away.

Prospective interviewers, take note. Please.

Quote of the week
Bob Bryan, who described his little daughter Micaela as “a sturdy little beast.” Complex on the way?

Feat of endurance
Jurgen Melzer, who won the Memphis tournament with a broken toe. Respect.

The tennis world hit the Oscars
So who was the best dressed?

Wild cards
There was a bit of kerfuffle this week about the allocation of wild cards at the ATP tournament in Dubai. While Shahar Peer had been given a wild card into the big Arab tournament, a year after being denied a visa into Dubai entirely, Novak Djokovic’s brother Marko, the world No.869, was handed a free pass, at the expense of the Arab No.1, Malek Jaziri, the world No.104. Power, people.

In very pleasing wild card news, Alisa Kleybanova has been awarded one into Miami, her first event since announcing she’s been suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Hello Dubai
A few years after Andre Agassi played tennis on the top of the world’s tallest hotel, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and two dudes in suits sat in the same spot atop the Burj Al Arab, now the world’s fourth-tallest hotel, to celebrate the tournament’s 20th anniversary.

I want one of those chairs.

Need a racket review?
Look no further than the tennis.com twitter feed, which went racket review crazy in the early hours of this morning UK time.

It’s a tough life…
Irina Falconi, who has been blogging for the WTA from Acapulco, reveals that, shock horror, tennis players have to do office work!

“Oh yes, us tennis players work OFF court as well. Returning emails, taking care of faxes, forms, requests, flights, and all that jazz. Trust me, there’s more to us than just hitting the bazooka out of the ball when we’re on court,” she writes.

She gets double points for using the word ‘bazooka.’

Is he back?
Juan Martin Del Potro has reached back-to-back semi-finals….so is he back to his best?

The ATP have done a nice little video vignette of the tower of Tandil.

Spoiler alert…
And finally. The twitterverse has been alight with discussion of just how Andrea Petkovic has gotten herself the abs she has.

Uncle Dmitry will be revealing all on Monday.