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Open just the tip of the year-long tennis iceberg

By Richard Hinds
January 25 2003
Sydney Morning Herald

Every year the Australian Open ends and ... what? Pre-season football begins, a major event such as the cricket World Cup grabs headlines and people start to say "Serena who?" But, difficult as it is to believe, the stars of the open trade forehands at other times of the year. Stay tuned for this.

February: Despite the absence of injured pair Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski for the first-round tie in Sydney, British Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor is encouraged by the practice form of stand-in singles players John Major and Prince Edward. New doubles combination Cliff Richard and Liam Gallagher are taking slightly longer to click.

March: Scandal on the US hardcourt circuit when coach Peter McNamara admits he has been operating Mark Philippoussis by remote control. The scam is revealed when the remote misfires, leaving Scud stranded on the baseline scratching his head as the televisions in the media centre are tuned to Jerry Springer several hours earlier than usual.

April: Flushed with success after her successful picketing of "men-only" Augusta National, American women's advocate Martha Burke turns her attention to the tennis tour demanding the ATP immediately admit women members. At a meeting with ATP officials Burke is shown film of the grand slam performances of several players in the current top 10. She withdraws her complaint.

May: Rejuvenated by his US Open win, Pete Sampras renews his quest for the French Open. After an encouraging build-up at the Italian Open where he takes several points from Jarkko Nieminen, things go awry for Sampras when he is drawn to play Agassi in the first round of the French. Jaden Gil Agassi wins 6-4, 6-2.

June: After three unsuccessful appearances in the semi-finals, Henman fulfils his destiny at the All England Club by losing the final. Henman denies the weight of public expectation was a factor. "No, no, no, I've never felt pressure here," he says. "I would like to thank the thousands of fans who phoned at 3am asking for tickets or who camped on my front lawn. But, at the end of the day, Gustavo Kuerten was always going to be tough to beat on grass."

July: At a tournament in San Diego, Richard Williams declares daughter Serena will win 45 more grand slam tournaments, Venus will win six Oscars, a Norwegian expeditionary force will invade Fiji, the Irish pound is in for a rough ride on currency markets and the large Coke will soon come in a 2.5-litre bottle. He is mercilessly mocked by reporters.

August: In an attempt to match the star power of the women's tour, the ATP provides a series of photo opportunities. The world's press gathers to see Juan Carlos Ferrero fight a bull (Ferrero beats a "tactical retreat" in the third set), James Blake read a book and young Frenchman Richard Gasquet have his first shave. In other news, the Irish pound dips.

September: Due to the demands of the broadcasters, and the limited attention span of the crowd, the US Open final is completed in a shortened format. Serena Williams defeats recent Golden Globe nominee Venus 4-1, 4-2 between a repeat of ER and an NFL pre-season match. Marat Safin beats Agassi on a flip of the coin after their match is locked 2-4, 4-2 when the broadcasters must return to scheduled programming. Meanwhile, the Fijian army goes on full alert.

October: After her victory in the Moorilla International in Hobart, rising Australian star Alicia Molik completes the other three legs of her personal "Alicia Slam" with victories at the "tier five" Budapest Grand Prix, the Internazionali Femminili di Parlermo and the VUP Open in Bratislava. She celebrates with a bottle of the new 2.5 litre Coke.

November: Lleyton Hewitt loses his No.1 crown to Agassi, leading some to believe the reformed Hewitt no longer has the fire in his belly. After carrying his opponent's racquets on to the court, fetching a cushion for the central umpire and insisting several close calls be awarded to Agassi, Hewitt denies he has mellowed during several day-long interviews.

December: Pat Rafter Calls It A Day. The Australian hero releases a statement: "After long consideration, I have decided I will retire. I would like to thank everyone in the world, especially Rochey." When Rafter is reminded he has already retired twice, he pulls a written statement from his pocket and says: "After long consideration, I have decided to retire. I would like to thank everyone in the world, especially Rochey."
 

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It was pretty funny!
 

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My two personal favorites :D

Lleyton's_Chick said:
May: Rejuvenated by his US Open win, Pete Sampras renews his quest for the French Open. After an encouraging build-up at the Italian Open where he takes several points from Jarkko Nieminen, things go awry for Sampras when he is drawn to play Agassi in the first round of the French. Jaden Gil Agassi wins 6-4, 6-2.

June: After three unsuccessful appearances in the semi-finals, Henman fulfils his destiny at the All England Club by losing the final. Henman denies the weight of public expectation was a factor. "No, no, no, I've never felt pressure here," he says. "I would like to thank the thousands of fans who phoned at 3am asking for tickets or who camped on my front lawn. But, at the end of the day, Gustavo Kuerten was always going to be tough to beat on grass."
But LMAO at the whole article!! Thanks, Llyeton's Chick!
 

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Lleyton's_Chick said:
August: In an attempt to match the star power of the women's tour, the ATP provides a series of photo opportunities. The world's press gathers to see Juan Carlos Ferrero fight a bull (Ferrero beats a "tactical retreat" in the third set), James Blake read a book and young Frenchman Richard Gasquet have his first shave. In other news, the Irish pound dips.
I loved this one. Specially Gasquet's part. Je je. LOL.:D
 

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LOL!!!! Jaden Gil beating the Android on clay! priceless!!!!!! :D :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TennisHack said:
My two personal favorites :D



Originally posted by Lleyton's_Chick
May: Rejuvenated by his US Open win, Pete Sampras renews his quest for the French Open. After an encouraging build-up at the Italian Open where he takes several points from Jarkko Nieminen, things go awry for Sampras when he is drawn to play Agassi in the first round of the French. Jaden Gil Agassi wins 6-4, 6-2.

June: After three unsuccessful appearances in the semi-finals, Henman fulfils his destiny at the All England Club by losing the final. Henman denies the weight of public expectation was a factor. "No, no, no, I've never felt pressure here," he says. "I would like to thank the thousands of fans who phoned at 3am asking for tickets or who camped on my front lawn. But, at the end of the day, Gustavo Kuerten was always going to be tough to beat on grass."
Well whaddya know, those are mine too ;) Glad y'all like it :D

Another from the BBC ;)

Henman's Perfect Body
Why Tim's the world's number one!

BBC Sport Academy
January 2003

It's official.
Britain's top tennis player has been rated as the finest around by the Victoria Institute of Sport (VIS). But unfortunately, it's not his ability on the court that has won him the ultimate accolade.
Instead, in-depth scientific research in Australia has shown that Tim has the best physique for tennis among the top players in the world. So why is 'Tiger Tim' better than his opponents?
Just what has the top Brit got that Lleyton Hewitt doesn't?

********
Tim's perfect tennis body




Capriati and Henman came out on top

The physical statistics of 27 male and 20 female players were analysed with Pete Sampras the only other bloke coming close to matching Tim.

Jennifer Capriati showed up as the women's leader.
"Henman has the perfect body for tennis," confirmed Troy Flanagan, the head of sports science at VIS.

"I tapped in the statistics for his height, his body weight and his limb lengths. He came out well clear of any of the other top 40 players on the ATP Tour.

"Based on the physical side of their game, Henman and Jennifer Capriati should be the best players on the circuit."

Having the best body doesn't win you matches though.
"Maybe the problem for Tim is in his mind," Troy said.
"The only person who came close to Henman's score of almost 96% was Sampras - and he shouldn't even be playing tennis.

"In an ideal world he would be an Australian Rules Football player - but that's another story."

********
Helping to choose the right sport

The results of the survey are based on the statistics of
thousands of elite athletes. Among a list of 42 criteria to be examined were: limb length, ability to use oxygen, flexibility and genetic factors.

The in-depth program is used to calculate which sports kids are best suited to.

It told ACT Brumbies and Australia flanker George Smith to try his hand at rugby union and Brett Lee to give cricket a whirl.
But, like all things mechanical, the magic computer has dealt its fair share of no-balls.

Take world number one tennis star Lleyton Hewitt for example.
It appears he has been wasting his time jet-setting around the tennis circuit all these years.

With a match-up just shy of 100%, Hewitt could have been giving Tim Montgomery a run for his money as a champion sprinter instead.

Conversely, his suitability to tennis rating is a feeble 2.9%.

********
Amazingly, none of the athletes studied were best suited to tennis. Even Henman only recorded his own game as his second best sport - after volleyball.

Other interesting parallels see Andre Agassi as the perfect footballer [soccer player] and Greg Rusedski as a world class rower.

Women's star Amanda Coetzer goes down as a potential body building legend.

With Bells Beach within serving distance from Melbourne Park, it also declares Sebastien Grosjean as a natural surfer.
His rating was 98% - even higher than three-time professional world surfing champion Tom Curren.

And Martina Hingis could possibly have made a splash in another sport - she has a 98% rating as an Olympic swimmer.
It also seems bizarre that Elena Baltacha looked so lost in her first-round defeat at the Australian Open.

The British number one has the perfect physique for orienteering.
So why do the likes of Hewitt and Coetzer have such high ratings as sprinters and body builders - and yet such poor ratings when it comes to tennis?

"If you are not the normal height and weight of a tennis player, you need to have the physical capacity to make up for it," added Flanagan.

"What Hewitt lacks in height and weight, he makes up for in speed.

"But he is not a natural tennis player like Henman."

Surely the world rankings can't be wrong?

********
Suitability to tennis: Top 5 men
Tim Henman: 95.8%
Pete Sampras: 94.1%
Michael Chang: 81%
Marcelo Rios: 86.8%
Andy Roddick: 77.6%

Suitability to tennis: Top 5 women
Jennifer Capriati: 95.9%
Martina Hingis: 94.6%
Chanda Rubin: 81.3%
Justine Henin-Hardenne: 73%
Elena Baltacha: 72%

What sport should they be playing?
Tim Henman: Volleyball
Lleyton Hewitt: Sprinting
Andre Agassi: Football [soccer]
Pete Sampras: Australian Rules football
Greg Rusedski: Rowing
Serena Williams: Netball
Venus Williams: Lacrosse
Anna Kournikova: Badminton
Elena Baltacha: Orienteering
 
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