“That’s my phone,” Nadal said, demurely, after a phone ring interrupted his answer to a media question. He then exclaimed “¡Ay, Dios!” but soon returned to completing his reply. PTN cannot say with certainty whether the expression referred to the interruption or to the contents of the received message.
Thursday’s Rules are Meant to be Broken
The testiest question of the World No. 2’s media conference was about his notorious on-court slowness. On Wednesday, Roger Federer remarked that time violation rules should be enforced more strictly. Asked for a comment, Nadal paused for some time; the Spaniard replied that, “Everything depends.” He remarked that rules exist and that he does not mind the fines he may receive for taking too much time before a point. But, he insisted that the rule enforcement should be at the discretion of chair umpires, because one cannot expect players to only need 20 seconds of time to recover between points in a 6-hour match.
Thursday’s Why Umpires Would Carry Scissors
We’ve seen tennis players play with broken ribs and broken wrists. But Timea Bacsinszky administered self-treatment for a much more severe condition – hangnail. Despite the debilitating condition, Bacsinszky and her Italian partner, Alberta Brianti, beat the current Australian Open Champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva, 6-1, 6-4. The Russian pair were the subject of Hawk-Eye system abuse, with several decisions that were clearly out counting as “in.” At one point, a call challenged towards the baseline was shown as a side line call on the big screen.
Thursday’s Adventures in Babysitting (…Tennis-Playing Children)
Do you remember a few years ago when the tennis news item of the moment was that Elisabeth Shue wanted to become a professional tennis player and to play the Qualifying draw in the US Open? On Thursday, Shue finally got to test her game against professional tennis players, John Isner and Sloane Stephens. Although Isner is 1’7’’ (50 cm) taller than the 5’2’’ (1.7-meter) Shue, the CSI actress was not the shortest person on court, as she and the two players were joined by local kids, participants in the 10 and Under Tennis from the USTA.
After hitting with the children, Shue clarified the details of her absence from the drawsheets. She told PTN that the story was much overblown in the media. Shue’s real desire was to get a single ranking point and, thus, become the lowest-ranked player in the WTA. Although striving for this made her work hard and push her recovery from an Achilles tear, the actress also wanted to be an example to her three kids. While none of them are tennis players despite her efforts to bring them into the sport, Shue believes USTA’s efforts to make the game more kid-friendly would have worked for her family.
Shue has since abandoned her hopes to gain professional status.
Thursday’s Chasing Federer
Shue did accomplish another goal on Thursday, however. She had finally, after years of trying, met Roger Federer. Despite listing Nadal as her top favorite, Shue says she was excited “like a 5-year-old” when introduced to the Swiss.
Shue wasn’t the only one. Throngs lined up to get Federer’s autographs this afternoon, with a line several hundred feet long 40 minutes before the scheduled time. Over a hundred people gathered just to get a picture of the third seed.
Thursday’s First Time
Andy Murray famously suffers from the pressure of his critics and countrymen, as he was reminded by a journalist at his pre-tournament interview today. The same journalist added that rather than lamenting Murray’s shortcomings, he congratulates the Scot on his accomplishments.
“Thank you,” replied Murray. Adding, “That’s a first” and a clap of applause.
Thursday’s Overheard in the Media Room
“It sure took Nadal over 20 seconds to get ready to answer that time violation question.”
More photos from Thursday at TennisPhotographs.com