Tuesday
Jul262016

Read Roger Federer's Letter To Fans

From Roger's website:

"Dear Fans,

I’m extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season. Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year. The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover. It is tough to miss the rest of the year. However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realize how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries. The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and of course you, the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.

Thanks for your continued support.

Roger"

Monday
Jan182016

In The Shadow Of GOATS

Imagine being one of tennis' best players.  Imagine how tough, but rewarding, it must be to have consistently GREAT form and success year after year.  Then imagine that all your achievements have come alongside your fellow countrymen, who is possibly tennis’ GREATEST OF ALL TIME (GOAT)!  Welcome to every day of the past decade for David Ferrer and Stan Wawrinka.

33 years old now, David Ferrer of Spain has been a professional player since May 2000 (shortly after he turned 18).  He entered the top 100 in 2002 and entered the too 10 early in 2006.  Though he’s occasionally dipped back into the 20s, he’s been a mainstay in the top 10 for the past decade and has not been out of the top 10 since 2010.  He peaked at number 3 in July 2013 after making his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros (where lost to his Spaniard friend, “King Of Clay” Rafael Nadal). 

So 2 Spanish flags have kept Spain at the forefront of men’s tennis for the past 10 years.  But when you hear the cymbals of “La Marcha Real” (Spain’s national anthem), it’s usually paired with the proud face of Rafael Nadal.  Ferrer’s record looks amazing unless you compare it to his compatriot, who’s been with him on the tennis ride for most of his life.  Nadal turned pro in 2001, entered to top 10 after winning his first grand slam in 2005 and hasn’t left since!  He peaked at number 1 in August 2008 and has occupied that spot for 141 (non consecutive) weeks. Compared with 14 grand slams wins and 20 grand slam final appearances, suddenly a 1 grand slam final feels like a small feat.

So what happens when you win 2 Grand Slam finals for your country in 2 years? After entering the ATP tour in 2002, Stan Wawrinka climbed the ATP rankings for 11 years before he hit his peak of 3.   He was propelled by his first grand slam win in the 2014 Australian Open over Nadal. He followed that up with a 2015 Roland Garros win against Djokovic.   Though he spent 19 weeks in the top 10 in 2008, he did not become a steady top 10 competitor until he was 28 years old in May 2013.  Such a crescendo is a story of superb tennis success.

But the limelight for a 2 time grand slam Swiss champion is dim if you started your career when Roger Federer was number 8 in the world.  A tennis career in the Federer era entails watching that Swiss flag wave under Roger’s prowess for (a record) 16 grand slams.  SUI held the number 1 ranking for (another record) 301 (non consecutive) weeks (the equivalent of more than 5 years). So Stan’s 2 trophy’s don’t get a lot fanfare.  By comparison, consider fervor of Great Britain for Andy Murray who also has won (just) 2 Grand Slams.  International headlines are abundant for Murray’s success.    

Is it bad luck to have a wildly successful career in the shadow of tennis’s favorite GOAT contenders?  Would Ferrer have peaked higher than 3 if Rafa wasn’t there beating him 80% of the time?  Or did beating Rafa 20% of the time supply him with the skills needed to beat nearly every other great player most of the time?

If during your first year on tour, while your rank climbed from 696 to 174, you watched your compatriot win his first grand slam at Wimbledon and rise from rank 8 to 2, does that give you more belief in what’s possible?  If you are close to the man who yields the shadow, do you inevitably follow their steps?

So Mr. Troicki, the Serbian shadow of Djokovic, what’s in your 2016?

Saturday
Aug292015

Street Tennis! Andre & Pete, 20 years later!

Saturday
Aug292015

RAFA! For Tommy Hilfiger...

 

Sunday
Jul052015

Tea Sandwiches for Wimbledon Watching

When we can't get to London to watch Wimbledon, we like to bring a sense of the city into our home.  This year we're making tea sandwiches. 

Cucumber Dill is the first delicious one we made. We buttered a baguette and added sliced cucmber with a sprinkle of dill.  Next time I will cut the cucumbers a little thinner.  

 

Cheddar, Pickle and Parsley is number 2

 

Next we tried smoked turkey, apple, goat cheese and basil.  Next time I will use whole pieces of basil

For a sweet treat: try waffle, banana and syrup. Add chocolate, nutela, or honey for variety.

 

More to come as more tennis is played!

Making your shopping list?  Here's a page where you can find more inspiration:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-tea-sandwiches.html