Laver Cup – Is This Going To Be A Thing?

Laver Cup, year II, has arrived, and this year it is on US soil, in the Windy City of Chicago! Thank catness this event is played indoors because it would be terribly difficult to play tennis in this Windy City! I’ve been to the Windy City more than once, and let’s just say my fur practically blew off!

Image result for laver cup logo

After last year’s success, I was curious whether or not this is going to take off and be the next big “tennis” thing. And with the changes made to the Davis Cup this year, this just might be it. The jury is still out, but it’s looking purrty positive.

To refresh…Laver Cup is a three-day tournament named after the living legend, Australia’s Rod Laver. It’s played indoors on a modern designed gray court. There are two teams: Team Europe vs. Team World. Here is the make up of this year’s teams.

Team Europe: Bjorn Borg – team captain; Roger Federer, Grigor Dimitrov, Kyle Edmund, Sascha Zverev, Novak Djokovic,David Goffin, and Jeremy Chardy as the alternate.

Image result for laver cup teams 2018Image:10sBalls.com

Team World: John McEnroe – team captain; Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Diego Schwartzman, Jack Sock, Nick Kyrgios,  Frances Tiafoe, and Nicholas Jarry as the alternate.

Image result for laver cup teams 2018 Image:10sBalls.com

The coolest thing about Laver Cup is you get to see a one of a kind team environment in a sport that is uniquely a “solo” sport. Players who are typically rivals and now teammates, and sometimes even doubles partners. Last year, we got to see Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal team up for a doubles match. This year, we have seen Roger play doubles with Novak Djokovic. That would NEVER happen at a regular tour event.

I have to admit, to be purrfectly honest, last year’s line up was more exciting to me. I miss seeing Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem this year…however, their absence opens up room for players like Kevin Anderson, Kyle Edmund and Diego Schwartzman to get some much needed love and attention.

Opening day was a blood bath for Team World, with Team Europe winning three of the four matches played. We shall see how the rest of the tournament plays out.

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The Heavy-Hearted Side of Tennis

Furriends, I just got through watching the women’s final at the US Open and I am not feeling light-hearted as I usually do. Matter of fact, my heart is heavy. It should be a celebratory time, but instead I am feeling a lot of conflicting emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, joy…all of these things.

Let’s set the scene for you. Serena Williams, who was out this time last year giving birth to her first child, has fought her way back this past year and made it to the US Open final. No small feat, but she’s a fighter and a champ and she did it with conviction and determination. Naomi Osaka, 20 year old, who has played excellent tennis earlier this year, had a bit of a slump mid-season, fought back and was making her debut at a grand slam final. In my mind, it was Naomi’s time to win today. She has beaten Serena before and she has been playing well this tournament, so I always thought Naomi was going to win.

First set was all Naomi Osaka…quick 6-2.

Then it all went to hell in a hand basket in the second set. A lot went down, so try to follow me here…

The chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, called a code violation on Serena for getting coaching from her coaching box. She had a “conversation” with the chair umpire that she doesn’t cheat, that she would rather lose a match than win while cheating. You can see it on TV, and her coach later admitted, he was coaching… he motioned to her to go to the net more. Then Naomi broke Serena’s service game and Serena smashed her racquet. Code violation #2. Two code violations = one point for the other player. At the end of that game during the change over, Serena brought up the coaching thing again and called him a thief for robbing her of her point. Things escalated, and she asked for the tournament director and she discussed this with them, too, saying it was unfair, that this would never happen if this was a man doing these things. This resulted in code violation #3. Every violation called after 2 is a game penalty. So, she lost a game and the score is 3-5.

Meanwhile, poor Naomi is checking her own pulse, trying to remain calm. Naomi eventually serves out the last game and wins her first major title! Congratulations Naomi Osaka! Unfortunately, it is overshadowed by the mess that unfolded on court today.

No smile: Osaka did not look too happy about her victory - APImage: Yahoo Sports

This pictures makes me so sad. Naomi Osaka couldn’t even break a smile while hoisting the trophy for the first time.

Emotions…here is how I’m feeling.

Anger…that Naomi was robbed from her celebration! She was the better player today from the beginning. This was her first slam…against her idol. She is a shy girl to begin with and she couldn’t even have her moment.

Frustration…that Serena had to be subjected to questionable actions on the chair umpire’s part. There was fault on both sides. How he handled things, how she handled things. All around, just a mess!

Sadness…that, unfortunately Serena is right. There is a double standard in sport and in society when it comes to men and women. We saw it this week when the female player got a violation for taking her shirt off and changing during a match. We see it in what men can get away with saying on the court (cuss words, etc), and what women can say. We see it in classrooms and in business…men being rewarded for be assertive and aggressive and women being punished, over looked, or deemed “difficult to work with” if they show the same actions.

Confusion…of why this couldn’t have been settled off court. I know Serena was in the moment, but part of me says take the violation and move on (there is another player standing on the other side of the court waiting on you). But also feeling like Serena had every right to stand up for herself and call out the injustice that was playing out before her.

Joy…for Naomi Osaka!! Make no mistake, this young player is here to stay! She’s got something special, and now she’s got a grand slam. I was happy to see during the post match ESPN coverage just outside of Arthur Ashe stadium, that the crowd was cheering for her, chanting her name and acknowledging her as a champion! She deserved that, even if it was a little bit late!

osaka.jpg                Image: Yahoo Sports

So if you will forgive me, all of these emotions have me exhausted. I think I’ll go take a catnap!

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The Importance of Beauty Rest

Furriends, have I ever talked to you about how important it is to get your beauty rest? Well, it is super important. Getting the proper amount of rest is imperative in all aspects of your overall health, from improving your mood and concentration to helping with weight loss.

Well, let me tell you…this week I have NOT been getting my beauty rest! Did you know that cats sleep 16 to 20 hours a day? I need at least that much to maintain my good looks! But epic night matches at the US Open has kept me from getting adequate rest this week!

It started with last Saturday night when I just had to stay up for the Marin Cilic/ Alex De Minaur match. Late Night at the Open

Then came Monday night with the Roger Federer/John Millman match that had everycat talking! If you recall, that match was played in hot, humid conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Both players were soaked to the bone and Roger wasn’t looking his best. But it was Millman that out hit, out played, and just dominated that match. I couldn’t possibly go to bed and miss that drama.

Here is John Millman after winning his match against Roger.

John Millman.Image: MSN Sport

The following day, we were gifted with an epic quarterfinal match between Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem. This turned into a 4 hour and 49 minute smashfest that is an instant classic. It is matches like this that makes me wish both players could win, but of course we know that this is not the nature of sports! You have winners and you have losers. The winner was me because I got to witness a beautiful display of athleticism and sportsmanship from both players. And the loser was me because I didn’t get to bed until 2am!!

Rafael NadalImage: BBC Sports

Thankfully, last night was not as bad. John Millman, the guy who knocked out Federer Monday night played Novak Djokovic. I think Millman didn’t have enough gas left in his talk to play the type of match he wanted to, and Djokovic won the match in three sets. I was in bed by 11pm.

So, here I am on day four this week and I just watched Serena Williams win her semi-final match against Anastacia Sevastova in no time flat. I am currently watching the second women’s semi-final match between Madison Keys and Naomi Osaka. Osaka is up a set, but you know how it is. Momentum could swing and this could easily turn into a three set match. I’m purrty sure Osaka has this in the bag (she has Serena’s former coach now), so hopefully there will be lights out here soon. This kitty needs his rest…

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Happy Labor Day from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Labor Day everyone! Labor Day…the day that celebrates all of us hardworking cats out there, working our paws to the bone…

Oh who am I kidding! I don’t work. I’m way too precious to work. I spend most of my days napping, eating, purring, and watching tennis, of course! But I know plenty of people who do work hard, like my human! She works all the time, or at least that’s what she tells me. Every morning, she wakes up early, mentions something about having to go to “work”, otherwise I wouldn’t have a place to live, food to eat, a couch to sit on, a TV to watch tennis. So, I forgive her for leaving me alone all day, everyday. But alas, she returns every evening, just in time to pour more food in my bowl, comb my hair, snuggle on the couch. She’s purrty great like that!

So, to all of you out there who are working hard (and to us fur babies who are hardly working), enjoy your day! Cook something on the grill, go shopping, play with your kids (human and the four-legged kind), watch some tennis (the US Open is going on, you know) and celebrate YOU!

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Stranger Things (At the Open)

This past week at the Open has seen some stranger things. Some cool, some not-so-cool, and some just down right head-scratching.

Let’s start with the not-so-cool. During a second round match between Nick Kyrgios and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the chair umpire, who will remain nameless (because I used to respect him, and now I’m not so sure about him), got down from his chair and did some on court coaching with Nick Kyrgios. This is wrong on so many levels! But lets just remember that the role of the chair umpire is to be a fair, unbiased judge of the match. They are to ensure the rules of the game are being followed by both players. By showing bias for one…well, this is just wrong. And what about the other guy? He just sits in his chair patiently while the other guy gets a pep talk? It was just a bad scene all around. Shame on him!

Image: news.com.au

Now for the head-scratching thing…in another second round match across the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, grown man, soon to be retired, French tennis player, Julien Benneteau, dropped his shorts on court. Yes, you read that. After losing a point, Julien pulled his shorts straight to the ground (leaving his undies in tact, thank goodness), and pulled them back up, leaving me confused. He did not get a penalty or nothing! Unbelievable! Meanwhile, women’s tennis player, Alize Cornet, gets a code violation for removing her shirt on court. I couldn’t find any picture or video of Julien dropping his pants, but the minute I Googled Alize Cornet, tons of stories, pics and videos are covering this story…because this is news “woman gets hot in record-breaking temps…?” Unbelievable! Sexist much, US Open?

Now for the coolest of news this week! I tweeted about a dream I had about Martina Navratilova, and she tweeted back!! I dreamed that Martina looked me square in the eye and said “I love to quilt!” Strange, right? So basically, Martina and I are BFF’s!

So, that’s just a quick wrap up of this past week’s stranger things at the US Open. Wonder what’s in store for this week. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you up to date.

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Late Night at the Open

Confession time…usually I am ready to go for the US Open, knowing this will include late night “must-see” matches, resulting in little sleep and surviving solely on coffee and catnaps for the next two weeks, but this year, I just couldn’t do it. You know, I’m 10 years old now and that means that I just can’t hang with the big cats, enduring sleepless nights like I used to when I was younger.

But something beautiful happened last night. The stars aligned, the tennis was right, and I was up, along with the fans in New York, for some late night tennis magic at the US Open!

By the time I started watching the Marin Cilic/Alex De Minaur match, they were already in the third set, with the young Aussie, De Minaur, up two sets. Honestly, I could believe what I was seeing. Marin Cilic is the 2014 US Open champion and currently the #7 seed at the Open. Alex De Minaur is a 19 year old from Australia with loads of ambition and raw talent. When I saw the draw, I thought this for sure would be a quick three-setter and Marin can get a good night’s sleep.

Unfortunately for Alex, Marin won the third set. Alex could have won the fourth set, but he ran out of gas. Marin was controlling every point, running De Minaur from one side of the court to the other, chasing down balls, wearing his wiry legs ragged. So now they had to play a fifth set.

Cilic got a quick lead and the match was at 5-2. One more game and we could all go to bed, right? No, Alex had other ideas. Alex was down 0-40 in the next game and managed to level things up to deuce, 40-40. The game went back and forth, getting to deuce 7 times before Alex finally won it for 3-5. The crowd was on their feet, giving Alex a standing ovation during this game, recognizing the shear will it took to pull that off!

Sep 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Alex de Minaur of Australia hits a forehand against Marin Cilic of Croatia (not pictured) in the third round on day six of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Image: Yahoo Sports

Alex won the next few games, but the match finally ended with Marin Cilic winning it 7-5. The final score was 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, ending at 2:22am local NYC time. Here is their handshake at the net. I say Alex looks plenty tired, don’t you think?

US_Open_Tennis_81137.jpgImage: lohud.com

Even though the teenager did not win this one, I see bright things for his future.

Today starts week two of the US Open, or the “business end” of the tournament, as some like to say. Well, I say, if this is business, business is booming! Looking forward to what’s to come!

Happy Sunday, my furriends!

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The Heat Is On!

It’s summer time in New York and that means it is going to be a blistering US Open!

The final grand slam tournament of the year, the US Open, began Monday and will continue for the next two weeks. It is always so darn hot in New York City this time of year that the thought of playing a three hour (or more, in some cases) match on the unforgiving concrete tennis court is enough for me to turn my A/C down to 0, get under a down comforter and snuggle on the couch, far far away from the heat and sun!

To give you an idea of the type of conditions I’m talking about…picture yourself walking out of the grocery store onto a big concrete parking lot, opening an oven door that’s been cranked up to 350, in a heat wave. You feel the heat rising from the ground, blowing on your face, and beating down on you from up above? Now, imagine running a marathon in that for three hours or more. No…thank…you!

It was 95 degrees in New York yesterday, with a 46% humidity, which makes it feel like 103. The courts are kind of in a fishbowl because the stadium seats are built up, so there is not much air blowing on the courts, and the courts are concrete, which makes it about 130 degrees on court.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

Let’s start with the good news. The important decision makers at the US Open implemented a heat advisory rule that says if a men’s match makes it to three sets without a winner, the players get a 10 minute break before starting the 4th set! Bravo US Open! Finally a rule that makes sense! Players need some reprieve from the heat if we want them to continue to play at their best. And trust me…every tennis fan out there wants to see quality tennis, even it if means we have to find something else to entertain ourselves for 10 minutes while the players sit in an ice bath. This rule was used several times yesterday, and thank goodness. This means the winners will be able to compete competitively in their next match, too…not just survive, hanging on by a gasp of breath and dignity to win the match at hand, and then have nothing left for their  next match.

Here is Novak Djokovic surviving a 4 set match against Marton Fucsovics, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. This does not look health to me.

2018-8-28-novak-djokovic-heatImage: USA Today

Now the bad news…if I got my facts right, even with the extreme heat rule, we had six players retire, five of them siting heat related issues. That’s too many, and it’s unfortunate. Many players do not come from countries that have these type of extreme heat conditions. Even the great Roger Federer pointed out that where he is from, Switzerland, temperatures stay relatively cool, and that is what he is used to.

The weather will stay in the 90’s for much of the tournament, so I hope we don’t have any more retirements and that this extreme heat policy will keep everyone safe and healthy during this fortnight.

Stay cool out there, furry furriends.

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Patiently Waiting

The final grand slam of the year, the US Open begins Monday, and for the next two weeks, all eyes of the tennis world will be on the center of the Universe, New York City!

The US Open has a new logo this year! What do you think? As long as there is the tennis ball on fire, I like it!

So what’s a cat to do between now and then? I am patiently waiting. To bide my time, I am watching the men’s qualifying matches on the Tennis Channel. Tonight, we have young Canadian breakout star, Felix Auger-Aliassime against American college star-turned pro, Christopher Eubanks. At the moment. Felix is up a set and it’s 3-1 in the second set. I am going to call it and guess the Canadian will take this match.

A kitty might think qualifying matches wouldn’t be that exciting, but au contraire mon furry frere! When watching young players, you can almost see their minds processing their decisions, their change in tactics, their reflexes. The quality is just as good, and in my humble opinion, the stakes are higher! These matches are to get a seat in the main draw at the US Open! That is HUGE! Anything can happen!

The draw came out today, so I spent some time going over my first-round popcorn matches. Lots of sports commentators like to analyze the entire draw, making assumptions like, “If X gets to the fourth round, he will play Y.” I like to see one round at a time because, as you know, anything can happen. It’s New York!

Here are the first round matches I have my eye on.

Rafa Nadal vs. David Ferrer: obviously Rafa is the favorite in this match, but they both come from Spain, long time friends, and you never know. Ferrer could have a very good day. (It’s possible)

Taylor Fritz vs. Misha Zverev: this is only interesting because Taylor is American and I like to back my fellow countryman. And Misha is the older brother of Sascha Zverev (the better of the two siblings), and plays a pretty scrappy game. This could go four or five sets.

Stan Wawrinka vs. Grigor Dimitrov: Stan’s a two time grand slam champ who has been out with injuries. Grigor is a great player that has yet to realize his full potential at majors. Both excellent players. This is definitely the ONE to watch. (And strangely, this is a rematch of Wimbledon’s opening round. What are the odds?)

Venus Williams vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova: well, for one, it’s Venus! And for two, it’s Svetlana! Both big time winners with big time games. Definitely the match to watch in the women’s draw!

We still have three days until opening day, but I will wait, patiently. Because all good things are worth the wait.

Tick tock…

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A Cinderella Story

Today, was definitely a Cinderella Story on center court in Cincinnati today. Or should I say a “Cinci-rella Story?” Get it? And no, not THAT Cinderella! Cinderella, the big hair band rock group from the 80’s! Remember them? Ah yes, you’re welcome!

So, I only remember one song from Cinderella and it was a rock ballad called “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone.” You know the old adage. That is how I feel about Novak Djokovic. I didn’t know what I had until he was gone.

Image: Yahoo Sports

And he had been gone a while…with injuries, personal issue, coaching changes, etc. He has been creeping his way back into relevance this year and the tennis sphere is grateful for that! Personally I was never a HUGE fan of Djokovic. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t like when he would get crazy eyes and rip his shirt off in the heat of a match like he is a Chippendale dancer at a bachelorette party. Nope, I don’t need nor want to see that during a tennis match. And I’ve already expressed my feelings about smashing racquets. Get yourself together!

But what has been missing that apparently is back, thank goodness, is his enjoyment of the sport, his fight to win, his health, and his game! His game is sharp and it was on full display against Roger Federer in the final today. It was great to see two great champions on court, play high quality tennis. Novak Djokovic won in two sets 6-4, 6-4. This win give him a new record…first playerto win the Career Golden Masters, all nine Masters 1000 tournaments in this era! This also sets him up to be a favorite going into the US Open in a week. All eyes will be on Novak! And THIS has not happened in a LONG time!

Great to have you back, Novak! Can’t wait to see how things shake out at the US Open!

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Abandonment Issues

Furriends, I have abandonment issues. Every once in a while, my human leaves me at home, all alone, by myself, while she goes off on something called a “vacation,” (cue Eric Carmen’s 1975 hit “All By Myself”).

Now, don’t get me wrong…she always leaves me in good hands. An animal loving friend comes over once a day to replenish my food and water, to scoop out the unmentionables I leave in my box, and to visit with me for a bit so I don’t get too lonely.

But big events got missed this year when she jetted off on her fancy, Northeastern vacay.

Here we go:

  1. Our 10 year anniversary! Can you believe it? She actually woke up super early to get on a plane on our anniversary! What kind of relationship is this? Do I mean nothing to her anymore? Am I just rubbish pet fodder that leaves boulder-size white, fluffy fur bunnies around the house to annoy her? Is that any way to treat the one being who loves tennis in this house as much as she does? No! I’m her partner in tennis crime! We watch together, we cheer together, and sometimes we even lament together when our favorite players come up short. She did say “Happy anniversary, little baby cakes. I love you” as she walked out the door…so there’s that.
  2. She missed International Cat Day. Meow, that’s right. This past Wednesday, August 8. This day is supposed to celebrate the bond between human and furry felines, like myself. Now don’t get me wrong…she was back by Wednesday, but she was so busy catching up at work, she did nothing special for the occasion. No cake, no streamers, no catnip. It was as if the day didn’t even exist. What a shame…
  3. The Citi Open! Yeah, that’s right. And entire tennis tournament came and went and we missed the whole thing. I hear that Andy Murray played again. I know he is trying really hard to come back after his him surgeries. Good luck, Andy! I know Sascha Zverev won the title. But did I get to watch any of the excitement? Nope! Thanks Mom for denying me the one thing I love more than you.

Thank goodness, I am not one to hold a grudge. When she came back home, I was especially elated to see her. She told me she had a great time, spending some time in a remote area in the mountains of the northeast, as well as some time in the Big Apple. She even brought home a magnet that has a cat playing with a Rubik’s cube on it. It is stuck to our fridge right now! I know she was thinking about me the whole time.

Since she’s been home, we’ve been watching the Roger’s Cup, a Master’s 1000 event leading up the US Open. Yesterday, we watched an exciting match between Sascha Zverev (last year’s Roger’s Cup winner) and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Stefanos is only 19 and has had quite a year, moving up the rankings. He beat Zverev in a claw-biting three set match. I am going to forgive his pirate-like looks for now…teenagers, what ‘r ya gonna do? But his future looks bright!

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece hits a forehand to Image: Newsday.com

The Roger’s Cup semifinals are today and finals are tomorrow, so watch for more tennis insights later this weekend.

Oh yeah, and welcome back, Mom! So glad you’re home!

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Tennis Pet Peeves

I am a pet and I’ve got some peeves! You know…pet peeve. A meownor annoyance.

Even a kitty like me, who loves tennis as much as I love my human, has a few pet peeves when it comes to my beloved sport.

Strange TV coverage: Why do networks feel they need to “shake things up” when showing a tennis match? Do you think coverage of the actual match is too blase? Hint…I don’t need to have the TV show me the press box of cameramen/women taking pictures of the match. That is not interesting. Hint…I don’t need you to place a camera in the water cooler so I can see the player open the lid, grab a water, and close the lid. That is not interesting.

Smashing racquets: Some players may think smashing a racquet when they are frustrated makes them look big , bad and strong. No! It makes you look erratic and immature. It makes you look small and out of control. It makes you look weak and petty. None of those things are appealing to me, or anyone I know, fur that matter.

Here’s a youtbu what I’m talking about. Tell me…do you think this makes them look big, bad and strong?

Calling a set that is won 6-0 a “bagel”: Purrsonally, I think this is a little lazy. Come one commentators, you can do better than that! Maybe a donut! Or a tire, or a pizza, or a steering wheel! I can hear it now. Ryan Harrison just steering wheeled that second set. What do you think?

What about you? Do you have any pet peeves about tennis or any other sport you watch! I would love to hear about it!

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Adidas ♥’s the 80’s

Adidas is at it again! And I ♥ it!

Last year before the US Open, Adidas rolled out a line of tennis outfits inspired by the 80’s…specifically (in my opinion), they looked no further than Toni Basil and her “Mickey” video! A fine choice, indeed. You can read about it here: Adidas, I See You

And now, they are pulling inspiration of the hot/cool neon colors and the “I Want My MTV” anthem of the 80’s.

For the neon pink, I believe they consulted with the Go-Go’s. They’ve got the beat…and the fashion, ya know! Everybody got on your feet!

Image result for go go'sImage: http://gogosmarksintime.blogspot.com

Ironically, the lead singer, Belinda Carlisle, is the only one with sense enough to not drown herself in neon pink here, sans the patch on her shoulder! But to be purrfectly honest, I love everything about this. The stripes, the polka dots, the baggy off-the-shoulder tops!! Yes, I’ll take one in every color!♥♥♥♥

adidas - Seasonal Tee Shock Pink CY3337 Image: adidas.com

Here we’ve got Fernando Verdasco rockin’ the neon pink.

Image: espn.com

They also drew inspiration from the fuzzy static, gritty opening of the MTV launch!

Video may have killed the radio star, but it didn’t kill fashion. Thank the good cats! Here is one of my favorites, Dominic Theim, after a win at the German Open, rocking his fuzzy static!

Image: German Open

Let me know what you think. Did Adidas strike a high note with their 80’s inspired tennis clothing? Or is it a big neon miss?

I’ve Got Cousins!

Furriends, I’ve got some great news! I have cousins! I’ve never had cousins before so this is really something to purr about!

My human has a huge family, and consequently, I have a bunch of aunts and uncles. Up until this point, I have only had dog cousins. And although there is nothing fundamentally wrong with  my dog cousins (really, I like them all! paw-crossed promise!), I have longed for a real cousin. A cousin like me. A cousin who is sweet and fluffy. A cousin who purrs instead of barks. A cousin who will gently greet you with a head nudge instead of a full-body surf jump. Someone like me!

Here is Oliver…Ollie for short. My aunt found this little bit at an elementary school and decided to rescue him from a life on the streets. So far, I know this little guy has been getting warm baths, laps to lay on and fed with a dropper. I haven’t met him, but he looks incredibly sweet.  I think my aunt is lucky to have found him.

ollie

Just last week, another aunt of mine went to her local vet to get a kitten. This aunt lives out in the country and needed a companion for the dog that watches over the place. I don’t have a photo of that one, but I hear she is becoming fast friends with her furry dog companion. I assume she will be taking over watch-cat duties very soon.

I’m going to do my best to make sure these kittens get the proper tennis knowledge so that we can all enjoy the great game of tennis together. I’m sure my human will talked with my aunts to make sure we are all on the same page of this all-important topic!

There will be tennis in the States really soon, so I’ll keep you updated as things progress towards the US Open in September. Until then, have a great weekend.

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It’s a Wrap – Wimbledon Recap

It’s a wrap on the most well known fortnight of the year – Wimbledon. Two weeks of highs and lows from the best in the world of tennis.

There was so much action the last couple of days, I tried to keep up with all the stories. But here are the absolute facts you need to know:

The women’s final was between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Yes, Serena is back and in top form. Unfortunately, she peaked in her semifinal match and didn’t have any fuel left for her final. And unfortunately for Serena, but fortunately for the rest of the women’s tennis, Angelique Kerber is back! After a stellar 2016 where she won both the Australian Open and the US Open, she fell into a slump of bad tennis. But here she is, playing and winning the Wimbledon final! Concatulations to both Mrs. Williams and Ms. Kerber.

Angelique-Kerber-FTR-GettyImage: Sporting News

The men’s final saw two unlikely, but both deserving finalists, Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic. The road was long for both of these two players, but Kevin drew the short straw here. Because of the rule that you have to win by two in the fifth set, Kevin was stuck playing to 13-11 in the fifth set against Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, and unprecedented 26-24 in the fifth set against John Isner in the 6+ hour semifinal match. He was depleted by the final on Sunday. I’m not taking away how pawesome Novak played, but I think it would have been a different result had Kevin didn’t have to play two marathons back to back. Novak eventually came out on top this Wimbledon Sunday!

Image: The Denver Post

On Wimbledon Eve, I made a few predictions. Let’s see how I did.

  • A David Beckham sighting! He loves Wimbledon.
    • I didn’t spy with my little eye any David Beckham. And that’s a real shame, because it’s always a good day when there is a David Beckham sighting.
  • A Royal sighting. Maybe a Harry/Meghan combo?
    • Never saw Harry, but his new wife was there with her sister in law. You know, they were just two ladies spotted out on the town supporting another Royal…Serena at the final. Oh and hey….there’s Billie Jean King! Hi there!

The Duchess of Sussex was supporting Serena Williams at WimbledonImage: Press Association

  • A bizarre injury. Not that I want this to happen, but playing tennis on an organic surface like grass, anything could happen.
    • Luckily, I don’t remember hearing of any off injuries…thank goodness!
  • A unforeseen victory, likely in the women’s draw.
    • All of the top women were out by the end of week one, so seeing Angelique in the final was quite unforeseen.
  • An upset! My prediction is it will be Federer in the quarterfinals.
    • I am not wrong. I predicted Federer was going out in the quarters and by-golly, I was right! Way to go, Kevin Anderson.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa loses a point to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, Pool)Image: Yahoo Sports

After all the tennis, I am exhausted. I’m going to go take a quick cat nap so I can get back to it real soon. Hope your Wimbledon was an enjoyable as mine.

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Tennis ESP

Meow! Just meow! I don’t even know where to start with today’s matches! Oh wait, yes I do. How about “I told you so.”

I have long said I have Tennis ESP. You know, the ability to know what’s going to happen on court before it happens. A friend once told me that, no I don’t have Tennis ESP. I have just watched enough tennis to know statistically how things are going to go.

Well, I can guarantee you that no one predicted Roger Federer would be anywhere except hoisting the winner’s trophy on Sunday, except me. In my Wimbledon preview, I predicted he would be out in the quarterfinals….and I was not wrong! Of course, I didn’t know it was going to go down in such dramatic fashion, but it did.

Image: Yahoo Sports

Roger played Kevin Anderson, and I know what you’re thinking. “Frazier, who the heck is Kevin Anderson?” Well, I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while, and last year he made it to the US Open final, where Rafa Nadal ended up winning. He played college tennis before turning pro about ten years ago, and is currently ranked #7 on the ATP tour. If you see him, you might notice that his hat always sits a little crooked on his head. I think he places with the movement of the sun for maximum protection.

There are so many things to love about Kevin Anderson. Kevin, be looking for a fan letter from me real soon!!

Well furriends, the match started out just as everyone predicted with Federer taking the first two sets pretty handily. And then in the third set, at 5-4 Federer, it was as if Kevin said to himself “Not today, Federer. Not today.” He came back to win the third set 7-5. Then he won the fourth set 6-4.

And now…the final set.

In the majors, men play the best three out of five sets, and in all majors except the US Open, the winner must win by 2 games. In the fifth set, neither player got broken. If Roger won his service game, then Kevin won his service game. This went back and forth and forth and back furrever!! The final score of the final set was 13-11! That’s practically an entire other set played. It was a fierce battle, but Kevin was hitting his returns so early with incredible amount of pace. And the angles he was making! Unbelievable tennis.

And then we had Rafa Nadal play Juan Martin Del Potro. I predicted this was going to be a fiery match, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve said it before, I love watching Del Potro play because he puts it all out there. The crowds love it. His opponent respects it. And Rafa plays every match with such intensity you can’t help but get fired up!! Vamos!

Nadal/Del Potro was another five setter and it was fireworks to the very end when Rafa hit the winning shot and Del Potro fell face down in exhaustion, across the net. In a display of pure sportsmanship, Rafa steps over the net to help his friend up and congratulate him on a good match. How could you not love these guys?

Rafael Nadal of Spain, left, meets Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on the court after defeating him in their men's quarterfinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Image: Yahoo Sports

All in all, it was a great day to be a tennis fan! But now I’m exhausted and must sign off.

More Wimbledon later…