Man Crush of the Week


Talk about a no-brainer.

Not only is Rafael Nadal the Mr. Olympia of tennis, but he also just outlasted the greatest tennis player of all time in the longest Wimbledon final of all-time. Nadal, in four hours and 48 minutes, effectively displayed to Roger Federer how the guns will, in fact, get you.

What a week for Spain. First Euro 2008, now this? I’m telling you now, watch out for the Gasol brothers leading Spain to Olylmpic basketball gold in a couple months.

We all have ESPN, so I don’t need to tell you what all the analysts have been saying. This is the greatest Wimbledon final, and possibly the greatest tennis match of all time. I’d like to argue that the epic three-setter that my brother and I played two years ago on the Taft High School hard courts (finished on a whopping 74 mph ace that I called out and he called in) was better, but we’ll leave that for another time.


Watch out for the guns

Watch out for the guns

The greatness of this match almost made me miss my flight. I was in Buffalo (on my way back from Canada) and Rafa and Roger were on the plasma in the bar, about 4 gates down from mine. It was 6-5 in the fifth set when it was time for me to board, so I walked down to the gate. Since I saw no plane I asked the lady at the desk what time we were scheduled to board.

“You want to watch the tennis game don’t you?” she said with a smile. “Just be back in 15 minutes.”

Despite the unusually friendly suggestion by a flight-related worker, I still was forced to board when it was 7-7.  My new best friend in 7A (he had a blackberry) informed me that it was 8-7 just before the flight attendant called the “writ of no electronics.” It immediately occured to me that Federer had served that 15th game, so Nadal must have broken him and was now serving for the championship.

Fifteen minutes on a prop plane later, we landed in Rochester and as soon as 7A got the all-clear signal from the flight attendant he turned around and shouted “Nine Seven!” On one hand I was disappointed I didn’t get to see the conclusion, but from what I hear the last two games were played in near darkness, so it’s not like I missed anything, right? Right?


Anyway, by beating Federer on a surface that you can’t make pots out of, Nadal has now turned this into an official rivalry. It’s great for both of them and, more importantly, it’s great for men’s tennis.

Rafa, with your flowing locks, bulging biceps, and propensity to teasingly wipe yourself down with a towel after every single point, you have unanimously (one vote to zero) won the coveted MCOW Award.

Game, Set, and Tantrum


tennis leads to more outbursts than trips to the dentist


I’ve fallen back in love with tennis.

The most exciting sporting event of this weekend was the French Open Final. No, i’m not talking about Rafa Nadal lambasting Roger Federer for a fourth straight year at Roland Garros (the clay surface is now officially Federer’s Kryptonite. It magically strips him of all of his superhuman powers the second he sets foot on it).

What I’m talking about was the WOMEN’S final played on Saturday between Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina. Ivanovic won the match 6-4, 6-3, earning the number one spot in the rankings in the process.

I know what you’re thinking: YES, Ivanovic is super hot.  NO, that’s not why I enjoyed the match. Well, not the whole reason.

I started watching the match live on Saturday morning in glimpses (flipping to it during 90210 commercials), but I soon found myself much more interested in Ivanovic and Safina’s battle than the on-again-off-again romance between Donna and David.

More intriguing than the match was the behavior of Safina (sister of men’s player Marat Safin). Apparently Marat is known for his, let’s just say, demonstrative behavior on the tennis court and his sister was no different.

Highlights of the match:


– Safina shouting a 38-word Russian expletive at the top of her lungs following a point (I’m not even sure if she was angry or happy, but it was awesome)

– Safina rolling her eyes and steaming with anger when a baby began to cry during her serve (the baby was escorted out of the stadium before Safina actually served. I’m serious.) P.S.- Isn’t it ridiculous how everyone has to be quiet before they serve in tennis? Could you imagine Randy Johnson refusing to deliver the first pitch in a visiting stadium until there was complete silence?

– As Ivanovic was pointing to the ball mark on the clay to contest a call, Safina walking over and defiantly wiping away the mark with her racket while shaking her head in disgust.


I was literally laughing out loud for about five minutes after each of those moments. Also, Safina’s behavior led commentator John McEnroe to allude to this infamous video (one of the all-time greats):



So I’m officially on the tennis bandwagon now (and what a spacious wagon it is). I’m going to try to keep track of the rankings and watch some of the minor tournaments just with the hope of seeing some ridiculous behavior. Like this kid, who is eerily reminiscent of my brother during his tennis-playing days.


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