True Cat Confession #10 – 2020 Has Me All Turned Around

I don’t know about you, but 2020 has me all turned around! I must confess, it has not been easy. It has created quite the confusion for this middle aged cat!

cat#kitten#confused#cats#cute | Cute cats and kittens, Cute cats, Beautiful  catsImage: @izzyandthefluff

Sure 2020 started out with all the normal hopes and dreams of new and seasoned tennis players…and of course, predictability, with Novak Djokovic (predictable) winning the Australian Open against Dominic Thiem (predictable, again, unfortunately). We sailed through February, then in mid-March, they announced that Indian Wells was cancelled, and I selfishly roared, “This cannot be! What about the players and the rankings, and the ticket holders, and the travel plans, and the sponsors?”

My tiny little walnut-sized cat brain could not comprehend. But then, as time passed, I understood…this is what they HAD to do! Tennis is such a global sport and the pandemic affected every nook and cranny. So measures were taken and decisions were made. Wimbledon was canceled, Laver Cup was canceled, and they postponed the French Open, normally played in Spring, to Fall, after the US Open. And hey, guess what! Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam (unpredictable?…nah!)

So, here we are my furry friends…clay court season in September. After hard court season. And it’s freezing in Paris! OK, I may be exaggerating a bit. It’s only 57 degrees F (14 degrees C, for my European furriends). But still, spectators, coaches, umpires, and players are all bundled up like French Eskimos in their finest down.

These 11 Confused-Looking Cats Will Make You SmileImage: awesomeinventions.com

Although, I’m a little turned around, flipped upside down, I have nine lives. I’m not scared! We will all get through it together. I think I speak for all tennis fans…we are just thankful tournament organizers found a way to keep the season going, in the safest possible way for players and everyone else involved.

Confused cat Blank Template - Imgflip Image: imgflip

The French Open starts today, and there has already been some great action on the red clay! So even though it’s not Spring time in Paris, grab your best fluffy blanket and settle in!

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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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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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True Cat Confession #8 – My Favorite Tennis Player Of All Time

I have a confession to make…I have a favorite! And it’s not Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer! This afternoon, I was casually purr-using one of my favorite websites, http://www.atpworldtour.com to check out the latest rankings and what did I see…an article on Pete Sampras!! This made my little kitty heart skip a purr! Apparently, it’s been 25 years since he reached #1 for the first time.

To be honest, 1993 does not seem that long ago. I remember watching Pistol Pete craft shots only a genius could make, run around the court like the Energizer Bunny, and hit second serve aces by the dozens. And even when he was tired, suffering from heat exhaustion, or cramping, he always found a way to be just fine for that one to two seconds it takes to serve an ace and win a point! Ah, where have players like that gone?

Here’s a young Pete hoisting the Wimbledon trophy.

Related image

Here is an older Pete, still looking pretty agile.

Related image

Take a minute and read this excellent article that was posted on the ATP website to understand a little bit more about this living legend. His records and milestones are nothing short of amazing. I think you will see why he is my favorite player of all time. Pete Sampras Tribute

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True Cat Confession #7 – Art!

Furriends, you may have noticed a slight absence from me these last couple of days. The reason for this is twofold: 1) we are at the end of the tennis season, so there hasn’t been too much to observe. But don’t worry, next week is the ATP Finals where the top 8 men play for the final title of the season. And 2) my human has been out doing something very, very foolish. Apparently, she thought it was be fun to run a half-marathon in the middle of the scary, hilly woods! Once she has fully recovered, she may want to share with me (and you) some of the details of that race.

But today, I bring to you another of my favorite topics…art! Yes, today we are discussing art!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that periodically my human babysits another fur baby named Pearl. Although Pearl and I don’t hang out much (she stays at her house and I stay at mine), I still think she is quite a sweet and beautiful kitty cat.

Here is Pearl chilling in her backyard. Isn’t she lovely?

Well, Pearl’s human is an artist. A very talented artist, if I must meow so myself. She works in watercolor, acrylics and oils and she just launched a website so the world can enjoy her work. Life Made Rooted

Her latest craze is using acrylics to create fluid painting. Here is an example of her work.

Although it would be nice to keep all of the beauties for herself, she has actually made them all for sale! So, you can enjoy one of these in your own home. Trust me, you will want one…I have three in my home already. They also make nice holiday gifts!

Anymeow, I hope you visit her site and enjoy some of her work. And, I’ll be back this weekend to talk about the ATP Finals which include a lot of my favorites…Rafa, Roger, Dominic, Jack Sock, Grigor Dimitrov, and others. Stay tuned…

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True Cat Confession #7

In my very first true cat confession, you learned that I am a bit of a data nerd. Well guess what? I still am!

I found this article in the NY Times about sexism in tennis. Computer scientists from Cornell University conducted a study of the types of questions asked to players during their post-match interviews. To no surprise (to me, at least), of the non-tennis related questions, 70% of the questions were asked to the women players. Non-tennis related questions could range from shopping to manicures. Or perhaps more famously directed at Serena Williams last year after winning a match, “why aren’t you smiling?”

This article breaks down the science behind the study, how they developed the algorithm, how the algorithm classified the questions, and of course, the results of the study. I hope you find this article and the study interesting and insightful. And hopefully in the future, we can swing to a more balanced, less sexist way to handle all of our athletes.

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True Cat Confession #6: What’s Your Angle?

As I finally began to shake off the Wimbledon hangover, I emerged from a deep cat nap. Normally when I am in such a relaxing nap, I dream of things like chasing the bird that visits me on the patio every morning, playing kitty baseball with my human (you know…she throws a crumbled up paper at me and I bat it with my paw…I’m a pretty talented kitty cat!), or simply laying on the dock of a beautifully calm lake, basking in the warm of the midday sun.

But not today….today I dreamed about geometry! Triangles, in particular.  You know, the three sided shapes that come in all different varieties! You’ve got the equilateral, the obtuse (my favorite one to say), the isosceles, acute….you name it. Any different way you can connect three points, you’ve got yourself a triangle.

What do triangles have to do with tennis, Frazier? Well, it’s simple. If you watch tennis closely, part of the strategy comes down to what type of triangle the player plans to make when striking the ball. The three points : Player 1, Player 2, and the imaginary line the player travels to get from one ball to the other. The idea is to create an angle that the other player can’t get to.

Here is a good example:

This is a right triangle. Let’s pretend the server is in the lower right corner, on the baseline. He serves across court to the top left point. The returner hits the ball straight down the line to the bottom left corner. If he hits it fast and hard enough, he could win the point because his opponent will not have time to get to that side of the court.

So, as you are watching your next tennis match, and there will be plenty to watch in the next couple of months leading up to the US Open, pay attention to the angle strategy that the players use!

This is just my amateur, tennis fan observation and know that much more goes into playing the game. But, I hope this makes your tennis more enjoyable to watch!

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True Cat Confession #5

I’ve heard the rumors. The hushed whispers about me and my other feline friends behind our backs…you say we are too independent, solitary, aloof and downright unsociable. Well friends, I am hear to tell you that this is absolutely NOT true! I love hanging out and chatting it up with my other gabby friends.

If I were unsociable, would I have started a blog? Of course not! I have a lot to say! And I’m thankful for you who want to listen!

How sociable are you, you may ask. I’m so social, I even dabble a bit in social media! In addition to my WordPress blog, you can find me at the following sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fraziersracket

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fraziersracket

If you follow me on Twitter, you will see that I have other interests besides tennis. I know…hard to believe, but it’s true. I enjoy all sorts of sports, competitions, Caturday and life in general.

So, how about it, friends? Let’s be sociable together.

True Cat Confession #4

This past Sunday, I posted about my excitement for the beginning of clay court season. Click here if you missed it: Ode to Clay

I have a confession…the REAL reason I love clay court season? The hot guys who play! There is just something about watching these clay court “specialists”. They come from places like Argentina, Spain, Italy and France. Here is a list of my top ten favorites!

#1 Rafa Nadal – Spain: Meow…no explanation needed. Just look at him! (and let’s not forget, he has won NINE French Opens)

#2 Jeremy Chardy – France: Umm, hellur!

#3 Jo Wilfred Tsonga – France: He’s had many looks over the years, but here’s one of my favorites. He’s purrfect!

#4 Feliciano Lopez – Spain: Or “Deliciano”…as he is referred to by Andy Murray’s mom! Ha! Yep, this guy plays tennis!

#5 Benoit Paire – France: Yeah, this guy!

#6 Fabio Fognini – Italy: He’s got a little sumpin’ sumpin’ about him, don’t you think?

#7 Fernando Verdasco – Spain: I’ve been watching and cheering for this guy for years! A real cool cat.

#8 Richard Gasquet – France: Just look at him!

#9 Juan Martin Del Potro -Argentina: When he had a dream comeback during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, beating Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, before losing to Andy Murray to win the silver medal, he shot right back into my top 10 list. Plays with his heart on his sleeve and I LOVE it!

#10 Juan Monaco – Argentina: He makes my list because he is huge part of my first US Open memories (2011)! He made it to the 4th round before Roger Federer beat the snot out of him on Arthur Ashe Stadium in little over an hour…a night session and my first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium! I will never forget it!

Honorable Mention  Carlos Moya – Spain: A great player in his own right, back in the day. Currently he is coaching fellow countryman, Rafa Nadal.  And the top 10 comes full circle!

Did I miss anyone? Sure, plenty! But what do ya think? These guys are worth tuning in to see a little slide on the red dirt!

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

 

Black Cat Blue Sea Award
Thanks to fuzzyyellowduck at Turtledesk for nominating me for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award!  Turtledesk features art and poetry, and frankly, I think the blog is beautifully done. It’s one of my favorites!! Please check out their blog. Their response to the award can be found here. Turtledesk Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Rules of the Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer 3 questions asked by your nominator
  3. Nominate 6 fellow bloggers
  4. Ask 3 questions to your nominees

My Questions Answered

  1. Which genre of literature (or form of art) do you love most? I enjoy all sorts of literature and art. I read a lot of autobiographies of tennis players (I highly recommend “Open” by Andre Agassi…even if you don’t follow tennis, it is an excellent read in its own right). I also enjoy all sorts of art! Even though I don’t travel much (the vet’s office is as far as I like to go), my human likes to visit any art museum of the cities she travels.
  2. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I have given this question a lot of thought. It has always been my dream to make it to all four tennis grand slam tournaments, so that would take me to Melbourne, Australia; Paris, France; London, England and New York, New York. My human has already been to the US Open several times, but loves it every chance she gets!
  3. What inspires you? You know me…I take a LOT of naps! BUT….when I’m watching tennis with my human, I keep a notepad on the coffee table and I’m constantly taking notes for my blog. Anything I notice that I find unusual or interesting or funny or frustrating…I’ll write it down and it will eventually make its way into my blog!

Nominees

  1. Mageowl’s Blog
  2. Living vs Existing
  3. Golden Pink Journal
  4. Your Finances
  5. AbbeycoSeattle
  6. The Shameful Sheep

My Questions to Nominees

  1. If you could share a meal with anyone living or deceased, who would it be and why?
  2. If you could take any vacation in the world, where would you go?
  3. What inspires you to write?

Mystery Blogger Award!

Happy Thursday, friends! I have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Luna at GamersUnitedGG Blog! Thank you Luna for the nomination! Be sure to check out her blog for gaming and geek news and reviews! My personal favorite is the Throwback Tuesdays! Shout out to the creator of the award over at Okoto’s Enigma Blog as well!

This is my first time being nominated for a blogger award and I am super honored! It looks like a great way for you to find out interesting information about fellow bloggers and potentially find new bloggers to follow! Let’s jump into the post details!

Rules of the award:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. List the Rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  6. Answer five questions from the nominee.
  7. Nominate anywhere from ten to twenty bloggers.
  8. Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  10. Share the link to your best post.

3 Things About Myself:

  • Contrary to popular belief, my name does not come from the 90’s TV show, Frazier. It is actually the last name of the family I was adopted from. I was really close to be named Domino (for the big black spots down my back), but Frazier won out…for the best, don’t you think!
  • I have one blue and one green eye. (I was also very close to being called Azul!) That was the deciding factor when my human was picking me out of the litter. I’m quite handsome!
  • I am a bit of a diva. Hard to believe, coming from a sweet looking kitty like me. But I demand food in my bowl any time my human walks into the kitchen. I only drink water out of a running faucet. I demand “my” spot on the sofa when my human and I are watching tennis. If a blanket is in the way or my human sits in my spot, I will  stare at her until my spot is cleared for me.

Sharing a link to my “best” post:  Here is something I wrote probably a week into starting my blog. It’s about Male Pattern Baldness and it’s good enough to be revisited. Hope you enjoy!

Is there room for MPB in tennis?

thinking-emoticon

Nominator’s Questions:

  1. Which Movie are you looking forward to releasing this year? Wonder Woman. I saw Batman vs Superman last year, and I can’t wait to see what’s next in that series.
  2. If you can make a theme park out of any game, which game would you select and why? I don’t do much gaming, but I’m really old school, so I think a Rubik’s Cube theme park would be super cool!
  3. With the rise of Major League Gaming, should it have its place among ESPN?
    Personally, I would like to see tennis take its rightful place on ESPN. Currently, most tournaments don’t even get ESPN airtime. The Grand Slams get ESPN 2 for the majority of the tournament, and the only the finals get played on ESPN. Thank God for the Tennis Channel!! But back to the original question…I say lets start out with Major League Gaming on ESPN 2, and see if it can get bumped up to ESPN!
  4. Should Colleges start Major League Gaming teams and fund-raise similar to Sports? Hmm, that’s a very good question. Seeing how Quidditch blew up on college campuses and now even has a World Cup, maybe gaming is the next thing on the horizon.
  5. Streaming vs. Blogging: How do you connect with your favorite gamers and communities? Blogging, for sure! I have not been blogging very long, but have thoroughly enjoyed finding and reading interesting blogs of all types! And the blogging community is super supportive. I am all in with blogging!

  mlp My Nominees:

  1. Havau22
  2. iKariLynn
  3. Food Is My Salvation
  4. Prerna’s Blog
  5. When Do I Get the Manual
  6. Pink for Days
  7. My Journey
  8. The Cat’s Write
  9. Pens and Castles On A Cloud

My Questions:

  • Dogs or cats…or something else and WHY?
  • What is your favorite sport? What makes you love it so much?
  • How long have you been blogging and how has it influenced you as a writer?
  • You have a free day to yourself….no work, no school, no family obligations. How do you spend it?
  • What’s your favorite kind of music and do you listen to music when you’re blogging?

Thank you again Luna for the nomination! Congrats to all of my nominees and I look forward to your answers if you choose to participate! Have a great week everyone!

-Frazier

True Cat Confession #3

I don’t think it is a deep hidden secret that I absolutely LOVE Venus Williams…you know, the older of the power duo, The Williams Sisters…you might have heard of her little sister, Serena. Venus is powerful, graceful, athletic, fun, and down right strategic when she takes the court. She is about to turn 37 years old and plans to play professionally well into her 40’s! Go girl!

A lesser known fact is the champion she has been off the court fighting for gender equality in sports and life in general. She was instrumental in women receiving equal prize money at Wimbledon (the last of the four majors to offer an equal purse) in 2007. And in my opinion, she is right up there in the bad-ass-ery department with Billie Jean King. And you know I love me some Billie Jean King! But for now, it is all about VENUS!

Here is an excellent article highlighting just a few of her accomplishments off the court, and the main reason I can’t get enough of her!

Venus William, The Role Model

True Cat Confession #2 – Valentine’s Day Edition

Can you feel the love tonight? Or should I say, can you feel the “love-love” tonight? One of my favorite songs by my distant lion cousins over at The Lion King! Fun tennis trivia…why do they call the score of Zero, Love? It comes from the French word for egg, “oeuf”, because a zero has the shape of an egg. The English thought it sounded a lot like love, so it stuck. (Some wise tales say that two components are equal at the start of a match, hence “love-love”, but I’m not buying it.)

It’s Valentine’s Day and that got me thinking about love. My human loves me, this I know. One night we were chilling on the couch watching tennis like we do, and she reaches over to me, gives me a big hug, kisses my forehead and says “I love you.” Much to my chagrin, she did this five times in a row! This was not out of the ordinary of any other night…she does this to me all the time. But it got me thinking…how often do I hear “I love you” in a single day? And how about other signs of affection?

As I recently confessed, I love numbers, data, research! So I decided to count how many times a day my human expresses her love to me. This will be hard because she may become aware that I’m doing this, so I must be careful and catch her off guard. I’m a fierce hunter, so I will be super sly. I decided to collect this data over a weekend. Two days, Saturday and Sunday and then average the two. Here are my results:

“I love you” – 23 times/day

“Look at your little face” – 17 times/day

Kisses on my forehead – 26 times/day

“You’re so beautiful” – 13 times/day

I’m a pretty lucky cat, don’t you think? Here’s wishing all of my tennis loving friends a day full of love and affection from this fluffy little fur ball! Happy Valentine’s Day!

True Cat Confession #1

OK, confession time. I know you don’t normally think of cats as nerds, especially when they are as gifted in the cuteness department as I am! BUT…there is nothing I love more than crunching numbers. Maybe my cat treats I get anytime I ask (yeah, I’m pretty spoiled like that). But numbers. Data. Analytics. Statistics! Catnip!..oh wait, no, that’s another story.

Here is an excellent article from ESPN introducing new software used at the Australian Open to analyze every aspect of the players’ game. From fastest forehand to the reaction time of a return…all very fascinating. Hope you enjoy!

http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/18535448