Rain, Rain! Go Away!

Rain, you’re ruining my tennis vibes! Yesterday, it looked like you were going to cooperate. We had the beginning of what could have been a French Open classic! Roger Federer against Stan Wawrinka, two Swiss players who know each other well. One, coming back from injury, the other back to prove a point.

It was a close match. Both men are in their 30’s, but you would never know it by the powerful one-handed backhands they were smashing across the net. One is a graceful dancer, the other a bull in a china shop. The first set went to a tiebreak, with Fed coming out on top. Stan took the second set, 6-4. The third set was close…so many break opportunities from both, but Fed eventually won it. Then the dark, ominous clouds lurked in the distance of that fourth set, but they played on, tying the set at 4-4 before play was suspended due to rain. Once the players were back, it took Roger no time all to win the fourth set, 6-4. Sorry Stan, maybe another time.

And then, today….

Roland-Garros 2019 - bâche - pluieImage: ©Philippe Montigny / FFT

Completely rained out! Don’t they know my human cleared her calendar so she could watch the quarterfinal matches? Mother Nature doesn’t care. She had other plans.

Either way, my human and I will tune in tomorrow to see what happens. Will Sascha Zverev beat Novak Djokovic, improving on his grand slam purrformances? Not likely…Novak is playing very solid tennis. Will Dominic Theim continue his clay court dominance against Karen Khachanov? I hope so! I have him pegged to win!

We will have to wait and see.

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Drippin’ in Finesse

Furriends, we may have just witnessed the most stylish match of the French Open thus  far! Oui, oui!

It was a battle of the Frenchmen, the King of the Popped Collar, Benoit Paire, vs. the Prince of Doubles, Pierre Hugues Herbert! You can’t get more French than that!

This match was drippin’ in finesse! It had so much finesse, flair, flash and panache, Bruno Mars and Cardi B are jealous! Both players displayed elegant touch and technique on the red clay with sliced backhands, aces, speed, power, energy.  And that was just the tennis! They also showed heart, class, emotions, sportsmanship. Their embrace at the net after the end of the match said it all. Two friends who know each other well, appreciating the art and performance they just created for the world to see. Pure purrfection!

At the end of the day, Paire, won the match in a mind-gripping five set match, 6-2, 6-2, 5-7, 6-7, 11-9.

Pierre Hugues Herbert after winning a point.

Paire on facing fellow French Herbert: 'It will be an interesting match'

Benoit Paire after winning his match!

2019 French Open - Day Four : News Photo

This, my furriends, is what it’s about!

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I’ve Been Broken

I knew it was bound to happen, it was just a matter of time! My love for the game…the players, the drama, the fuzzy tennis ball, the red clay! It was just too much for me to deny. And today was the day I gave into my tennis fix!

For years, the Tennis Channel has been tempting their fans with a subscription to Tennis Channel Plus. Catch all of the tennis action, live or on demand. Full coverage of the French Open, every match every court. And every year I tell myself, Frazier, don’t be silly….you are fine with whatever the “featured” match they are showing with the regular TV channel.

Well, I couldn’t take it anymore! The temptation was too strong. One of my all time favorites, Janko Tipsarevic, was playing Grigor Dimitrov and the Tennis Channel was showing the Tsitsipas match. What??? Meooooowwwww…this could not be! Why would they show Tsitsipas when my beloved Janko was playing? Don’t they know his comeback story, after years of injuries and surgeries, is way more compelling than a first round Tsitsipas match? I love him. Just look at him! And he’s one of the few pros on tour that have a college degree!

        Image: hcfoo.com

So I broke down, paid the yearly subscription, and happily watched my guy play! He’s 34 years old now, so he’s no spring kitty, but he gave Grigor a good run for his money. The match went to five sets and was completely competitive. Dimitrov won the match at the end, but it was a real treat…not the kind of tasty treats my human gives me every time I go into the kitchen…but still a treat, all the same, to watch Janko Tipsarevic play tennis at such a high level. Glad to see you back, competing again, Janko!

You broke me, Tennis Channel, but I will purr-savere. It’s a tough life when you can’t live without full access to your favorite fix. You know exactly how to get to a tennis cat’s heart!

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The Rafa Beat Down

After a lukewarm start to the clay court season (he hasn’t won a single tournament this season), Rafa finally did what Rafa does best on clay….the Rafa Beat Down! And it happened in a nick of time…one week before the Grand Poobah of the clay court season, the French Open.

Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic to win the Italian Open on Sunday, and will head into next week's French Open with his first title of 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)Image: Forbes

At the Italian Open in Rome, he met a familiar opponent, Novak Djokovic. They have met a record 54 times over the years. And just because the Djoker may be ranked number one, he was no match for the King of Clay. Rafa was in purrfect form Sunday, serving up a dry, crusty bagel in the first set! Vintage Novak showed himself in the second set by winning it 6-4. But then Rafa was like, “Not today, mi amigo!” and took Novak down 6-1, to win his ninth Italian Open title. Final score was 6-0, 4-6, 6-1.

They both get a little rest this week before the French Open starts over Memorial. Will they be the final contenders, or will be see some upsets? Maybe it’s Dominic Thiem’s time to clinch that trophy! Or maybe the flashy Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas gives them a run for their money! Only time will tell. Stay tuned, my furry furriends!

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True Cat Confession #4 – 2019 Redux

Back in 2017, I confessed that a large part of why I like the clay court season is to watch the hot guys! True Cat Confession #4 A lot has changed since 2017…new players have surfaced, older players have retired. But some things never change!

Here is a new and improved, updated list of the top guys to keep your cat eyes on! Meow!

#1: Rafa Nadal! Some things will never change. And in the last couple of years, he has only solidified his place as the numero uno, top-notch, the OG, King of Clay!

Image result for rafa nadalImage: USA Today

#2: Dominic Thiem! This Austrian is the next best thing to slide on the red dirt! His dominance over Nadal at the Barcelona Open this past weekend, showed him in complete control. We may be ushering in a new regime, come time for the French Open. Hail the Prince of Clay!

#3: Nikoloz Basilashvili! There is just something about this Georgian’s eyes that I could get lost in them for hours!  Am I right, kitty cats? Am I right?

Cue the Debbie Gibson…I get lost, in your eyes…I get weak, in a glance!

Image result for basilashvili Image: ATP Tour

#4: Stefanos Tsitsipas! I’m not gonna lie. This young Greek is a little bit of a oddball character and I wish he would cut his hair and shave his face. But there is something about him that makes me want to watch him. What do you think?

Image result for tsitsipas                                       Image: NDTV Sports

#5: Grigor Dimitrov! OK, let’s just put this out there. Grigor Dimitrov is ridiculously handsome. There, I meowed it! He once dated fellow tennis star, Maria Sharapova, but I have long since forgiven him for that. He’s walked runways, posed for magazines, won the 2017 ATP tour! There is nothing this cat can’t do.

Image result for grigor dimitrov

#6: Pablo Carreno Busta ! Why yes, I would enjoy a glass of wine with you while we admire your dangerous, pointy star trophy, Pablo!  So nice of you to ask!

Image result for pablo carreno busta Image: Tennis Tour Talk

#7: Mackenzie McDonald! This young American is on the rise. He may not be there yet, currently ranked #57 in the world, but he has promise. And besides, just look at him. He’s adorable!

Image result for mackenzie mcdonald

#8: Karen Khachanov! Is it just me, or does he resemble Liam Hemsworth? Dreamy!

Image result for khachanov

#9: Jeremy Chardy! I mean, seriously! Look at this guy and tell me he’s not the most handsome guy you’ve ever seen!

Image result for jeremy chardy                      Image: Flickr

#10: Sascha Zverev! OK, If I’m being purrfectly honest, Sascha is not the King of the Clay Court Forest. Matter of fact, he is having a hard time this year, all around. However, just because he can’t seem to win his way out of a clay court bag, doesn’t mean he’s not cute as could be.

Image result for sascha zverev

Honorable Mention: David Ferrer! I have been a fan of this guy since he turned pro in 2000. He’s short compared to most players (5′ 9″), but he’s fast and runs to get every ball. He is so consistent….and he’s one of the nicest guys on the tour. He retired last week after losing to Rafa Nadal at the Barcelona Open,  and for that, there is a big hole to fill in the “nice, handsome, decent, integrity” department.

Image result for david ferrer                                                           Image: javea.com

It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten, but tell me…how did I do? Have I missed anyone? Let me know!

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The Longest Cat Nap

Kitties and furry furriends, I believe I just woke up from the world’s longest cat nap! And for that, I am terribly sorry!

To make up for my extended absence, here are some cute pictures of cats with tennis balls.

Image result for cats and tennis balls

I’m ready for practice, Mom.

Image result for cats and tennis balls

Look Mom, I’m a tennis ball!

Image result for cats and tennis ballsWait a second, this is NOT a tennis ball!

Apparently, I’ve missed a few things.

I missed the entire Australian Open! Novak Djokovic is on his comeback tour and won that! He thinks he’s going to win the French Open, but I think there are other players eyeing that prize, namely, Rafa Nadal! However, he did not play very well at the Monte Carlo Masters event this past week.

I missed Indian Wells and the Miami Open! Looks like there is a new home for the Miami Open, but not everyone was impressed with it.

I missed the beginning of clay court season! How sad is that? I usually write a poem to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! No poem…I’m still a bit groggy from my nap!

But I’m awake now, and I am ready to conquer this clay court season. My next post is long overdue, but it will be my current top ten clay court players…revisited from the list I made two years ago. There are some players who have gone away and some new ones that need the lime light!

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Alex Got His License

Alex De Minaur is Australia’s newest, brightest star! Just last week, the 19 year old won his first ATP title in Sydney, Australia.

Image result for alex de minaur

This week, in his on court interview after his first round match win at the Australian Open, he said that getting his driver’s license a few months ago was his greatest accomplishment of the year!

Getting your driver’s license > winning an ATP title!

Ah, to be a teenager!

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A Sad Day For Tennis

Andy Murray is in pain. And when Andy Murray is in pain, we all feel it.

Image:hellomagazine.com

Yesterday in his Australian Open press conference, he announced that he will retire this year. He is hoping to make it to Wimbledon, but he’s just not sure. He has been struggling with a bad hip for almost two years and now, the pain is just too unbearable for him to continue. In his heart wrenching press conference yesterday, I could not keep up with how many times he mentioned how much pain he is in. To even put on his socks and shoes is painful. To watch him walk around the tennis court, hunched over at his hip, struggling to get from point A to point B is painful for us, his fans, to watch.

I love Andy Murray. I’m a HUGE fan. At the end of 2017, I wrote him a Fan Letter, Fan Letter – Andy Murray

I had a sense at that time that he would not be able to make a full recovery, but I always hoped he would be back. But the inevitable happened and he is retiring. We will miss you, Andy! I know we will still see you around. Maybe coaching or commentating, or just sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon each year. So many things to love about you, but your passion for the game stands out as tops!

I hope you have a great season. The tennis world will be watching with admiration and wonderment.

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True Cat Confession #9 – I Don’t Understand “Round Robin”

I have a confession to make. A couple of tennis tournaments are played in “Round Robin” fashion and I don’t know that means!

When I hear Round Robin, I immediately think of this:
Image result for robin birdImage: independent.co.uk

And I wouldn’t be wrong. That is in fact, a Robin, and she is in fact, Round. So there you have it…a Round Robin!

I also think of this little tweedly deedle deet:

Yes, the Jackson 5 singing Rockin’ Robin. That’s a great song, so I don’t mind that this ear worm gets into my subconscious. But that’s not what they mean.

At least two tournaments, the Hopman Cup and the ATP Finals use a Round Robin format. I understand the first step. Every player or team plays each other, and then after that, my poor little kitty brain gets crisscrossed!

If you Google Round Robin Tournament, you get diagrams like this!

Image result for round robin tournament

Image result for round robin tournament

If that’s not confusing, I don’t know what is! Does any of this makes sense you? We’re not  mathematicians here! We just love tennis! So, I don’t worry about it and rely heavily on my various tennis channels and websites to tell me who is playing whom and when.

If you care to know, the official definition of round robin from Dictionary.com is “a tournament in which all of the entrants play each other at least once, failure to win a contest not resulting in elimination.”

But still…how do they get to the winner? Meow-zah!

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New Year’s Resolutions I Wish They Would Make – 2019 Edition

The new year! One of my favorite times of the year. As purr tradition here at Frazier’s Racket, with the turn of the new year comes a new set of resolutions I wish the players, tournament directors and sponsors would make. Let’s begin.

Stefanos Tsitsipas – I resolve to cut my hair and end this charade as a pirate! Arrgh! I know my hair is my “thing”, but I’m improving each week and I don’t need false tricks for people to know who I am. Roger did it. Rafa did it. I can do it, too. They both burst on to the tennis scene with some pretty adolescent styles, but with age came skill and wisdom…the wisdom to know when to finally cut off the locks!

Image result for stefanos tsitsipas

Serena Williams – I resolve to have a meltdown-free year. I know who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, where I am going and nobody can take that away from me. I know that I am likely the best athlete there ever was in any sport, male or female. I am going to totally rock it this year!!

Image result for serena williams us open outfit 2018 Image: USA Today

ATP, WTA, tournament directors – we resolve to apply the same rules to everyone, equally. We will not play favorites for anyone, no matter who they are. We know that if we show preferential treatment to the bigger names who have been dominating the sport for decades, we will never see the young stars rise to their potential.

monfils.jpgImage: Getty

Nike – I resolve to keep the tennis styles stylish and the color combinations complimentary. We at Nike know that we are pushing the boundaries with this melon/salmon top and the ketchup red shorts ensemble that we have started the players with this season, but we are just seeing if you’re paying attention. As the largest sports apparel company in the world, we promise we will deliver the BEST for each and every player on tour.

Image result for nick kyrgios

Let’s check back at the end of the year to see how they did.

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2018 In Review

Here we are, furriends! New Year’s Eve…one of my favorite nights of the year. Frazier’s Racket has completed its second year out in the world, and I think it did purrty good!

Like every New Year’s Eve, I like to reflect on the past year. Here is how Frazier’s Racket purrformed in 2018.

  • Number of views: 3815
  • Number of visitors: 2987
  • Number of posts: 69
  • Number of WordPress followers: 290
  • Number of Facebook followers: 47
  • Number of Twitter followers: 326

My most popular post to date is The Gold Chain Epidemic . This uncovers the wild obsession men have with gold chains. I would put this one on your reading list fur 2019!

The post that I am most proud of this year was The Heavy Hearted Side of Tennis which addressed the unpredictable US Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.

I’m looking forward to what 2019 might bring. Hold tight and I will be sure to fill you in on the latest racket that happens around the tennis court.

Happy New Year everyone!

Changing of the Guard

It’s happening! Or at least I think it is? I believe we are witnessing a changing of the guard in the men’s tennis world.

This week was the year-end ATP Finals in London. The top eight ranked men’s players gather in London, England to battle for the final title of the year. If you’ve been keeping an eye on men’s tennis for the last couple of years, you will recall Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal dominated 2017 winning two majors each between them. And then this year, something interesting happened. Novak Djokovic got healthy, rehired the team he fired just a year earlier, dominated the second half of 2018, and ended the year at #1! Bye Roger. Bye Rafa. Bye Felicia! (Don’t worry, Rafa and Roger are still ranked #2 and #3, respectfully).

So, it was no surprise that Novak Djokovic made it to the finals today. His opponent was 21 year old German, Sascha Zverev. Yesterday, Zverev had to play Roger for a spot in the finals and beat him in two sets that ended in a dramatic tiebreak. If you watched this match (or if you watched Good Morning America this morning where they talked about the incident and referred to Sascha simply as “Roger’s opponent”…shame on you, GMA) you would have seen a freak accident of a ball kid dropping a ball mid-point, automatically forcing the players to stop and replay the point. This gave a slight advantage to Zverev, but let’s be honest…he was outplaying Federer, paws down, but not by much!

Hiss, I digress…

Anymeows, I could have told you Zverev was the dark horse coming into this tournament. He was primed to do well. He’s played an incredible season, he is young (average age of the top four is 32.5, and Sascha is #5 at 21 years old), and he’s improving. He just hired Ivan Lendl to join his coaching team, so I predict he will win his first major next year.

Today’s match against Novak looked nothing like the Federer match. Sascha was in control from the beginning and won the match easily 6-4, 6-3.

Now it’s time for some truth serum. You ready? I’m not a huge fan of Sascha, usually because he says stupid things, acts a bit arrogant, and if I am super honest (which, you know I am), I’m not a fan of his hair! It’s not really the hair that gets me, but how he wears his headband around the hair. Secretly, I hope Ivan Lendl has a talk with him over the holiday and Sascha surprises us with a new do next season!

But even so, I believe we are witnessing a changing of the guard. Roger can’t play forever. Rafa can’t either. Novak will probably have a stellar season next year. But I believe it will be Sascha Zverev leading the charge to change the tennis landscape that we have all been familiar with for the last decade or so. Are you ready for some new faces? I am!

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Movies Ten…Explanation Zero

I am jumping on the bandwagon with what looks like a fun challenge:

10  movie challenge. You are to post just an image, no explanation, from 10 movies that had an impact on you. 10 movies, 10 images, no explanations.

This was a fun challenge so I encourage you to have a go yourself.  Publish a post with images from ten movies that had an impact on you – no explanation.  Send me a message so I can check out your post. Have fun!

Image result for princess leia

Image result for titanic movie

Image result for love actually

Image result for beaches movie Image result for santa claus is coming to town

Image result for bridget jones diary

Image result for st elmo's fire movie

Image result for breakfast club

Image result for color purple movie

Image result for the devil wears prada

Hope you enjoyed my list, and I can’t wait to see yours!

Happy Friday!

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Election Day!

This is your furriendly reminder to get out there and vote today!

If you’re thinking “But Frazier, the lines are so long, I might get bored.” Well, get out your phone and watch cute cat videos. Or better yet, here are some cute pictures of cats reminding us to vote!

These kittens doing their civic duty and getting that ballot in the box!

Image result for images of cats voting Image: motherjones.com

This orange cat doesn’t seem too happy about it, but he rocked the vote!

Image result for images of cats votingImage: The Daily Dot

This cat means serious business when it comes to voting! Tie is optional at the voting booth!

Image result for images of cats votingImage: me.me

This guy will raise his paw for a vote!

Image result for images of cats votingImage: business2community.com

Voting is not rocket science! But it may make you feel out of this world!

Image result for images of cats voting               Image: Space Cat Voters

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We’ll Always Have Paris

Oui, Oui! We were in Paris this week for the last tournament before the ATP finals, and it was a good one! To celebrate, I had all of my French favorites…French fries, French toast and French onion dip! All while watching the drama unfold against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.

The finals came down to a young up-n-comer, Karen Khachanov and a veteran, Novak Djokovic, whose star was a bit dim these last couple of years, but has decided to shine oh-so-brightly the second half of this year. So bright, in fact, that regardless of how he did in the final today, he will regain world number one spot tomorrow!

On paper, this was supposed to be Novak’s day! A return to glory. But I knew different. Khachanov has been killing it lately and I knew he had a chance. Khachanov took about a while to settle in and start playing his brand of tennis, but when he did, there was no holding back. His cross-court two-handed backhand is truly a something of beauty. Novak tried to wear him down, but he wasn’t having it. The look on Novak’s face was saying “This isn’t how this is supposed to be.” But yet it was, and the punishment just kept coming.

At the end of it all, Karen Khachanov won in two sets 7-6, 6-4. With this, he wins his first Masters 1000 event.

Image: APnews.com

And at the end of the day, Novak Djokovic end the year at number one! Concatulations to both!

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