May 9th, 2014
Friday Tennis Blog: Federer Twins; Serena Retires Friday in Madrid
TWIN SETS — If the twin girls can’t make it on the WTA tour, maybe the twin boys with their DNA can give the Bryan brothers’ record a run. This week Roger Federer and his wife Mirka announced the arrival of twins boys, Leo and Lenny, who join their twins sisters Myle and Charlene in the Federer household. “Mirka and I are so incredibly happy to share that Leo and Lenny were born this evening! #TwinsAgain #Miracle,” Federer wrote on social media. The 32-year-old Federer withdrew from the Madrid tournament this week to be with his wife, and now Federer fans on the internet are abuzz with not only congratulations, but hopes that he will now play the French Open, a tournament he was prepared to miss. “I’ll be training near my home, and am excited to rejoin the tour soon,” Federer said. Federer has now one-upped his sister Diana, who also has a set of twins.
GINEPRI GETS ANOTHER SHOT — American Robby Ginepri admitted he has been close to hanging up his tennis career during the last two years after continued struggles and injury setbacks. “I broke my left elbow mountain biking, had a couple elbow surgeries and was out for a year, year and a half,” he said. “Struggling to find my rhythm, find my game, stay healthy…It’s extremely time consuming to go to rehab for nine months to just try to bend your elbow, get as much range as you can…Had a lot of my friends and family and close people pushing me along the way, supporting me.” With a ranking in the 200s entering last week’s Tallahassee Challenger, Ginepri captured the title and the USTA French Open wild card competition, and will now make a ninth career appearance at Roland Garros. Ginepri smiles when he says the “RG” in Roland Garros stands for Robby Ginepri as he has seen some of his greatest career achievements in Paris — reaching the fourth round twice, with victories over former world No. 1 and French Open champ Juan Carlos Ferrero, a then-No. 22-ranked Sam Querrey, and stretching then-world-No. 3 Novak Djokovic to four sets in a loss in 2010. “Definitely feel like I can do some damage over there,” said Ginepri, who is the only active American player to have reached a Grand Slam semifinal. “I’ve shown I can do it before.”
RACQUET-TESTING GURU — Casey Reich, an 8th grader at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, is making waves with his science project, “Eliminating the Bad Vibes,” which examines racquet weights and string tensions on tennis racquet handle vibrations. The experiment involved a vibrometer fastened around the handle of a tennis racquet and a ball machine firing balls at 30 m.p.h. at the center of the racquet, with different data sets collected for the racquet weight and string tension. “The baseline racquet had a maximum force of over 1.5 gm/s2,” Casey wrote in his research abstract. “The loosely strung racquet decreased the vibrational force to under 1.4 gm/s2. Additionally, the head heavy [racquet] decreased the vibrational force to 1.2 gm/s2, while the headlight increased to just under 2.3 gm/s2…In conclusion the head-heavy modification and loosely-strung modification decreased the most vibrational force in the handle of the tennis racquet, but when combined the amount of vibration in the handle of the tennis racquet was more than the baseline tennis racquet.” The experiment has won awards at Shorecrest Preparatory School (1st Place Physics, 3rd Place Overall), the Pinellas County Science Fair (1st Place Physics), and the Florida State Science And Engineering Fair (2nd Place Physics). His mother Kirsten says, “Casey intends to continue the project, and we are looking for professionals in the field of racquet design or testing who might be willing to talk with him.” The family can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serena Retires as Last American Exits Madrid on Friday
Set to play her quarterfinal match on Friday morning in Madrid against former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, world No. 1 Serena Williams withdrew from the Mutua Madrid Open citing a thigh injury she suffered early in the tournament.
“It happened during my first round match,” Serena said. “It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover…It’s beyond words. It’s so frustrating. We couldn’t ask for a better tournament and I love it here in Madrid. I love being a champion here. Manolo Santana and his team put on a great tournament. This is not the way I wanted this week to end.”
“I am planning to play in Rome [next week]. Fortunately, I have a bye next week so will have an extra day of rest. For now, I will take it one day at a time and take advantage of some extra rest.”
On Thursday No. 16-seeded Sloane Stephens took the first set off No. 2 Li Na before succumbing to the former French Open champ 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Today long-time Florida-based No. 8 seed Maria Sharapova upset Na to move into the semifinals.
On the men’s side No. 9 seed John Isner was the last American man in the running before losing in third-round play to No. 5 seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday.
They Said It
“But my phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook. I’m quite busy doing my own thing but if the right situation came along and I got an opportunity to coach a great player, it would certainly be something to think about. If Andy Murray picked up the phone and asked me to coach him, of course I would think about it.”
— John McEnroe speaking to Britain’s Daily Record
“The wild cards I’ve taken this year, I took the one to Australia, because I won the [USTA’s] wild card tournament. I needed it, because I made a bonehead move and didn’t sign up for qualies. So I wasn’t going to Australia unless I won the wild card tournament. Life lesson No. 1: pay attention.”
— American Steve Johnson speaking to www.ZooTennis.com
“I’d put [Rafael] Nadal No. 1, [Roger] Federer No. 2. Federer separated himself from the field for four years. He separated himself from [Andy] Roddick and [Lleyton] Hewitt. Nadal had to deal with Federer, [Novak] Djokovic, [Andy] Murray in the golden age of tennis. He has done what he has done and he’s not done yet.”
— Andre Agassi on his opinion of the greatest player of all time, speaking to The Guardian
Tennis on TV This Weekend
5:30am — ATP/WTA Madrid (live), Tennis Channel
8am — ATP/WTA Madrid (live), Tennis Channel
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