US Open
September 5, 2005

It's official. I'm a James Blake fan. Please add me to the "J-Block."

I grew up in a tennis-watching household so I developed a love for the game early. My father played a bit, and my mother--a former actress--always did a spot on John McEnroe fury impersonation (minus the bad language). Cracks me up every time. I am a horrible beyond horrible tennis player, but I love observing the finesse of the game. To this day, I still wake up at 5:00 am to catch Wimbledon in real-time because I can't stand to find out the results without first seeing the match. When Serena Williams plays, I get so nervous that I hide under my pillow. More than anything however, I love that tennis is a sport that gives me lots of opportunities to root for the United States. What can I say? I love my country.

Unlike basketball, however, I've always preferred watching women play. When the Monica Seles era (i.e. female grunting) was ushered in, the female competitive edge always seemed more intense. There are a few men I enjoy watching, among them Agassi, Hewitt, Roddick, and Sampras (before retirement). With James Blake back on the scene, having officially ditched the Tarzan-look (Andre Agassi re-lived) for a clean-shaven head, I just might change sides.

Go USA.

Posted by Ambra at September 5, 2005 2:08 PM in Current Events
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"When Serena Williams plays, I get so nervous that I hide under my pillow."

It would seem that Venus has reclaimed her spot as the better of the two sisters.

I always liked Venus more.

I think Venus has surpassed Serena only by virtue of injury. Venus has been the healthier of the two for about a year now, I believe, so she's taking advantage--albeit ever so slightly--of Serena's slide now. They're ranked 8th and 10th in the world currently--Serena is 8th--and Serena leads their series 7-6.

I'm like Ambra. I get knots in my gut whenever either of them plays. I had to turn off Wimbledon this year, thinking that Venus' goose was cooked. Imagine my amazement and elation when I learned she had won. Heck, I had to watch that joint when it was replayed later in the week, even knowing the outcome. I just HAD to see how she milked that particular chicken.

Johnnie: Goose cooked, Milked chicken..what?? Nevermind.

I just recently started watching tennis after years of indoctrination to the sport early on. My father had to ask for a day out of playing tennis for his birthday to get us on the court. I still favor Basketball and Football over it and Tennis is NOT the "Game of Kings", dad..

I used to play with my father 2-3 times a week. He's retired and still a googol times better than me.

like Blake or not, I can't abandon my man in his twilight years. Agassi forever.

Yep, Jon, Agassi will always be a beast in my book, too. I wish he had triumphed over Sampras more. Petey had my boy's number. I wonder what it is about Andre that appeals to so many, you know, brothers?

I guess I am the only one here is a fan of Roger Federer. I love his style and his quiet grace. He does have a lot of competition this year although Nadel is out already. But I hope he comes out on top. Go Roger!!

Federer's cool...but he's certainly not a favorite.

As for the Williams sisters, I'm sorry, I've always been a Serena fan. I also think that she's the stronger of the two players, but her injuries and often dissinterested attitude towards Tennis have somewhat marginalized her abilities. I just wish she would dress more modestly off the court...

And since you brought up her sideline of designing clothing, just let me say "bleah."

BUT, big props to her for maintaining her lady-like decorum when she was punked on Punk'd. She was a Valkyr and didn't appear to even think about cursing.

Alex...don't mind Johnnie's exressions...he's just an old head.

I wasn't feelin' Ashton Kutcher's shennanigans Serena's time around. A baby in a speeding car? Fake or not, that's just not funny. In fact, I think the show jumped the shark. It started out being just funny, but now it's borderline convoluted.

But yes, she kept her peace. As did Raven S. Zoe Saldana on the other hand, well....

I'm pleased that he's finally playing well, especially after all the adversity he's faced this season. I truly hope his win tomorrow, will be more a passing of the torch than anything else.

But still, it'll be a great match regardless.

I guess it's only fitting that Blake and Agassi will now meet in the 4th round of the Open. Whom does one route for? The long-time favorite little guy Andre, the best service-returner ever, IMHO? Or the brother who overcame the death of his dad, shingles, a broken vertebrae, scoliosis, and the man to defeat the number two ranked player in the world to get to this point?

What a conundrum. Well, you know what they say? "Once you go black...," "Never bet against black," and

"People think they dis my person
by stating I'm darkly packed.
I know this so I point at Q-tip
and he states 'Black is Black'"

Hey, it just dawned on me, too. James Blake is foown (yes, still confident in my man-ness) with his Deondre Whitfield look. Mmmm, Ambra, that wouldn't have anything to do with you suddenly going bloggy over him, now would it?

You know, us "old heads" are sagacious like that.


Uh, I meant "root for?" They're not racing to somewhere, after all, right?

Strap 'em up, sports fans! Here we go! (I still don't know who to ROOT for. Every time I think I've decided, that little voice says something else to make me vacillate...and change my mind, too.) Enjoy!

(Why'd I just see a helicopter smashed into a roof in NO on cnn.com?!)

Blake all the way man. I can't watch though...I have Bible study. TiVo's down...dangit.

Don't tell me...I want to try to catch a replay.

See, that's why y'all need to have Bible Study on the universally recognized Bible Study night...TUESDAY!

It's 12:25 AM over here, and all I'm sayin' about this match is, "vintage."

Ok, lemme know when you've watched it so I can weigh in on that excellent, however debilitating (I'm hurtin' at work today), match. Us "old heads" need our sleep!

Gosh that was painful.

I didn't even get to see it all, but wow what a game. Despite the loss, I think I'll be a lifelong Blake fan.

1) Blake is playing the best tennis of his life so far and is only going to get better.

2) Agassi is the man. A comeback like that, perseverance like that, stamina like that at his age...I can't say too much about that performance. He was awesome.

Serena...I love watching her play...

Agassi is still really, really good. He doesn't get broken in game 7 of the third set and he just might win the US Open over one of the greatest players ever playing at his height.

It's amazing to me that they're calling Federer "the greatest ever," and, as McEnroe gushed, "the best ball striker ever," at 24! Man! What about Borg, Lendl, Connor, Mac himself, Chang, AGASSI, heck, Martina, Steffi and Evert, Laver, Becker, Nastase (sp?), SAMPRAS, etc., etc? It was gratifying to hear Stockton refer to Agassi as possibly the greatest ever during the awards ceremony. That put it back in perspective a little, I think.

(It was also gratifying to watch Andre react sheepishly at such outlandish praise. I like that dude a lot. I wonder why it is that the brothers [and the sisters] dig Andre so much?)

Granted, Federer is diesel. He showed me that yesterday. But he's gotta do this into his 30s before he reaches the pantheon of the "greatest," IMHO.

Agassi himself called Federer the greatest he's ever played. That makes him better than just about every guy you mentioned. Agassi specifically said that he was better than Sampras.

True that, Jon, but let's just say that his career comes to an unfortunate end, say, in one year. Then does he get to keep the Ali-esque title of "Greatest of All Time"? I think longevity weighs heavily in this judgment. He's a bad boy, mind you, but I think we're way too quick to anoint winners "the greatest" or "the next MJ," etc.

Personally, I think Becker would've given home-boy fits. They could've been some generation's Borg-McEnroe, waging classic tennis wars every few weeks, much to our delight.

But, truly, what do I know?

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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