Spa Day

Hello furriends! It’s been a little bit since I have written, but I am happy to be back. Sometimes in life, you need a little refreshing…a little reorganization, and that’s exactly what we did. My human and I took a little break to send my website out for a spa day.

Image: Pinterest.com

With the help of one of my blogging friends, Queenie at Written in the Ink, I redesigned my blog! No, my website didn’t get rhinoplasty or a tummy tuck, but something more subtle…something more in line with a massage and facial. We went with a new, fresher theme, cleaned up a bit of the categories and made it easier to navigate around the site. Purruse around the site and let me know what you think!

A huge thank you to Written in the Ink for helping me out with this. They were very easy to work with and I’m happy with the final results. Please visit their beautiful site and check them out. They even have my favorite category….Cats!!

Missing some of my tennis posts? Don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap up of the Madrid Open. Spoiler alert….the winner in NOT Rafa Nadal!! Dominic Thiem knocked him out in the quarterfinals yesterday! It was purrty unbelievable, but Thiem is on a roll!!

Meow at y’all tomorrow…

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Everything Counts In Large Amounts

Depeche Mode! One of my favorite bands of all time! So, it was no wonder when I was in the kitchen, staring at my food bowl waiting on my human to fill it up, chilling to the classic “Everything Counts In Large Amounts” I had a kitty epiphany! I said aloud to my human “Especially when it comes to ATP ranking points! Am I right? Meow! ”

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Newsweek

That is why this past year, all we’ve heard about are the 3 R’s! No, not reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, but instead Roger, Rafa and the Rest. Once you understand how the points work, you’ll see why. I’ll break it down for you in simple, broad stroke terms. Ready?

The grabbing hands

Grab all they can

All for themselves

After all…

It’s a competitive world.

Everything counts in large amounts.

Who has these grabbing hands, anyway? Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, that’s who! And when we talk about large amounts, we mean the big G’s! 1000’s!

The ATP has tournaments year round for which players earn points. The Masters tournaments range from 250, 500, and 1000. That number refers to the number of ranking points the winner gets. There is also four grand slam tournaments, worth 2000 points each. You win a Masters 250 tournament, you earn 250 points. You win Wimbledon, you earn 2000! See how that can make a difference?

Let’s look at the current rankings:
1. Rafa Nadal – 8770 points

2. Roger Federer – 8670 points

3. Sascha Zverev – 5195 points

4. Marin Cilic – 4985 points

5. Grigor Dimitrov – 4950 points

Notice how close Rafa and Roger are? A mere 100 points. Notice the gigantic drop of 3475 points between #2 and #3? That’s because Rafa and Roger won all of the grand slam tournaments last year, two a piece (remember, that is 2000 points per tournament). Of course, the small amounts in the other tournaments of the year help move things up and down slightly. And you have to factor in defending points from previous year’s tournaments. But it is the large amounts that make the biggest difference.

Image result for roger and rafaImage: Business Insider

If any of these other players even think about being a contender against Roger and Rafa and knocking them off their thrones, these other players’ grabbing hands will have to start grabbing all they can and start winning the grand slams. It is simple math!

Of course, it is a little more complex than this and if you want to read all about the ATP rankings, you can find information here. ATP Rankings

Hopefully you learned a little something today. It’s pretty fascinating when you start following things closely. I am going to make a bold prediction and say that someone else besides Roger or Rafa will win a grand slam this year and really shake things up in the ATP rankings. But we will have to wait and see. And of course, I will be here to bring you the big news!

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Monte Carlo Masters – Welcome Back Kei!

Today was the Monte Carlo Masters and guess who won? Rafa Nadal! I’m not surprised, are you? Of course not. But what IS surprising is who is opponent was. Kei Nishikori! Who, you may purr! Kei Nichikori, that’s who!

Kei Nishikori came from a set down to beat Zverev and reach his fourth Masters final

You haven’t heard me meow much about Kei Nishikori because he has been out with injuries lately. Let me catch you up! He’s a Japanese player who has reached as high as #4 in the ATP rankings. He’s been a US Open finalist in 2014, a US Open semifinalist in 2016 and an Olympic Bronze medalist. He’s no schmuck! But most recently, he’s spent about five months out with a wrist injury. To have him back on tour in top shape is a big win for him and a HUGE win for tennis!

You may be asking yourself, what record has Rafa broke now? Good question. If you recall last year he was making the rounds winning the Decima (10). Yep, last year he won his 10th title at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and French Open. There is only one way to go…11. That’s right, he’s won his 11th title, breaking his own record of the most titles at a single event.

Next week is Barcelona. Wanna bet he’s taking his 11th title there? We’ll have to watch and see.

And again…welcome back, Kei!!

 

Is Rafa Nadal a Freak?

Let’s start by saying I would never ask this question if I didn’t hear someone call Rafa Nadal a freak. The exact quote was “Nadal is a freak in every possible way that can be interpreted.”

I immediately lifted my head that was resting on my outstretched paw, my other paw tucked underneath my chin. I cocked my head to the side, looked at my human and meowed “Did he just say that?” She assured me that, yep, that’s what he said.

Image: Yahoo Sports

It is the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo, the first Masters 1000 event for this clay court season, and the return of Rafa Nadal. I was looking forward to watching today’s match between Rafa and Dominic Thiem. I thought “If anyone could beat Rafa, it would be Dominic.” Domi was one of the few people that has beaten Rafa on clay recently!

Well, furriends, it was not in the cards today for poor little Domi. Rafa went out there with a quick pace and finished off Thiem in two quick sets, 6-0, 6-2. The whole event last a little over an hour.

It was about this time the Tennis Channel commentator said “Nadal is a freak in every possible way that can be interpreted.” Now, I know what he was trying to say, but come on. Rafa is just playing a game. He’s crafted his talent in such a way that he is a genius on clay. Yes, he’s a bit OCD with his water bottles facing the right way, the adjustments he makes before every single serve, and his overall work ethic. Does this make him a freak? I don’t think so. But, you can draw your own conclusions. All I know is he is magic when he steps out on the clay courts!

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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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Are Popped Collars Still A Thing?

Yes, apparently. In fashion, the old adage, “everything old is new again” holds true. This morning, I turned on the TV to watch a little tennis, and what do I see? Frenchman, Benoit Paire, sporting a Lacoste polo with a popped collar…while he is playing tennis! Not on a runway or hanging with his bros, but on the tennis court! I immediately sat up and thought, “hold on here a hot fashion minute. What is happening!” If Heidi Klum has taught me anything, it is that “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” Oh, I’m so confused…

I haven’t seen a popped collar since John Hughes introduced us to the preppy frat guy in the 80’s! Even the bad boys popped their collars back then…isn’t that right John Bender from the Breakfast Club? (wink, swoon, meow)

Image: Quotesgram.com

Oh I digress…

Anyway, I don’t mind this trend swinging back around into the 21st century, as long as you can pull the look off! And clearly, if you’re French and your name is Benoit Paire, you can totally pull it off! Oui, oui! (hi Monsieur Paire, call me)

Image: Lacoste

Maybe popped collars never went away! So go on you preppy frat boy, bad boy Bender, or “80’s was the best decade ever” cool cat, pop that collar! It’s a look and it is here to stay! Meow!

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Clay Court Season Is Here! Plus…Bonus Poetry!

Spring has sprung and clay court season has arrived! Thank cat-ness for that!

If you are not familiar with watching tennis being played on a clay court, you are in for a real cat treat! There is a certain finesse and athleticism to playing on clay that makes it so fun to watch. Because the players are essentially playing on dirt, there is an unpredictability of the bounce of the ball, the variation of the speed, and if you’ve ever watched a baseball player slide into home plate…well, picture Rafa Nadal sliding across a court to hit a winner!

No doubt the best court player of all time, Rafa Nadal is back! He is the Clay Court King and he is ready to take over his tennis kingdom! That is, if he remains healthy (paws crossed).

In honor of the Master of Mud, I composed a limerick!

There was a kid named Rafa

Who liked to slice and drop a

Short shot at the net!

Did he win the set?

Slip, slide, the clay, the drama!

I am on a poetry roll, so I also wrote a haiku for the occasion:

Deep red is the clay.

The court made of crimson dirt

Sliding, stretching. Win!

Here’s a purrty cool compilation Roland Garros put together of what it is like to slide on clay.

So, let’s leave the sliding to the players while we sit back and watch our 2018 clay court season!

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Happy Easter from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Easter from my human and me! Whatever you decide to do on this lovely Sunday morning, whether it’s attend a church service, visit with family and friends or just hang out around your house, I hope it is relaxing and enjoying!

Image: drodd.com (no bunnies or kitties were hurt in the making of this gif…promise!)

The eyes of the tennis world have been focused on Miami these past two weeks (which, if you ask me, looks like an awesome place to spend a holiday weekend), and that tournament is coming to a close. Yesterday we saw Sloane Stephens, winner of last year’s US Open, take down Jelena Ostapenko, winner of last year’s French Open. I am eagerly waiting the men’s final between US player John Isner and NextGen phenom Sascha Zverev. I’m sure this match will be filled with giant serves, massive forehands and a lot of attitude! Just between you and me, I am going against my native American Isner and cheering for Zverev. (Bad Kitty!) At least it’s not Independence Day!!

Next week starts clay court season, and you know what that means! Possible poems, top ten lists, and a whole lotta Rafa!! All very good things!

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Bienvenidos a Miami

Well furry friends, we went from the deserts of California to the Sunshine State, Florida this week. Tennis is in full forehand swing in Miami on the Barney-esque purple courts at the Miami Open.

Image result for miami open 2018

Let’s re-cat what has happened so far:

Last week, we saw two of the big names OUT in the early rounds.

  • Serena Williams is trying to make a comeback after being on maternity leave, but unfortunately for her, she draw Naomi Osaka, winner in the Indian Wells desert last week, for her first match. Serena…OUT.
  • After losing the final in the desert last week, Roger Federer, lost in his first match to qualifier, Thanasi Kokkinakis, in a claw biting three set match under the Miami sun. Roger…OUT.

This week is definitely the business end of this tournament and yesterday saw so many three set close matches between “veterans” and this “next gen” of tennis stars. And not all of this was nice and pretty. Matter of fact, the handshakes at the net were more ice cold than beach warm. Here is how it all shook down:

  • Sascha Zverev defeats David Ferrer 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
  • Denis Shapovalov defeats Sam Querrey 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
  • Borna Coric defeats Jack Sock 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
  • Pablo Carreno Busta defeats Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-3

Here’s a fun video showing just how Denis Shapovalov took down the veteran, Sam Querrey.

 

And then there was the Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Fernando Verdasco match that went down in flames! Oh boys, can’t you just play nice? The answer is NO. In a bizarre exchange of accusations, curse words and arguing with each other on the change overs, Verdasco was the one who kept his cool and finally won that final set. It is unfortunate that Kokkinakis couldn’t hold it together because he has a nice game. I meow, he beat Roger last week, for goodness sake! But at 21 years old, he still has some learning about controlling one’s emotions.

The rest of this tournament should be a good one. I, for one, am excited to finally spy some young talent showing up to play! Stay tuned, furriends, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The Real Loser at Indian Wells

Today was the finals at the most prestigious Masters 1000 events of the tennis season, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. And don’t the title of this blog fool you…we had big winners today! Naomi Osaka won her first ever title in the women’s final against Daria Kasatkina, and I predict she will continue to be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the year. And, Juan Martin Del Potro won his first Masters 1000 title today in an epic three set match against Roger Federer. Concatulations to Juan Martin!

Naomi Osaka wins her first title at Indian Wells! Image: New York Times

Del Potro saves match points to stun Federer for Indian Wells titleJuan Martin Del Potro wins his first Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. Image: Yahoo Sports

But let’s meow about losing for a minute. Everyone talks about what a great champion Roger Federer is, however no one is talking about what a horrible loser he is. The pouting and the talking back to the chair umpire is NOT a good look on you, Roger. You really do look like a spoiled child being told to put his video game away and go to bed. And this look only gets exacerbated when the crowd is clearly in your favor!

The crowd! What a catty bunch! The were terrible today. Classless and rude..not what is typical of the so called “tennis savvy” fans of Indian Wells. Cheering after Juan Martin’s errors, applauding in between first and second serves, getting up before a game or set was over. All of these are big no-no’s of tennis etiquette. But when your beloved Roger is not winning, you lose your minds and your manners. Shame on you Indian Wells!

OK, I will leap off my soapbox for now and go celebrate two winners today, Naomi Osaka and Juan Martin Del Potro!! Congrats you crazy cats!

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2nd Annual Trophy Extravaganza!

Fellow kitties and furry friends, we had two exciting tournaments to watch this week, one in Acapulco and one is Dubai. And what do I love even more than the tennis itself? The trophies, of course!

Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Lucas Pouille in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships yesterday. This win not only gave him his first ATP 500 tournament win, it also gave him this pawesome trophy!

This trophy stands at about 2 feet tall! It is a ginormous metal ship, complete with Titanic-like guardrails in the front and a free swinging silver anchor hanging from the back! And a flag waiving in the air, for good measure! Maybe this ship is more worthy of Jack Sparrow, arrrgh, rather than Jack and Rose? What do you think?

Either way, congrats to Roberto for winning his first 500 level tournament!

Everybody with me now…I’m the King of the World!!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

It came as a surprise to me when Come With G nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you Glenda. I love your travel blog.

I have read many bloggers’ post about these awards and and I never thought I would qualify being a relatively new blogger with a relatively small following with a niche, which is tennis.   This is one of a few post which I am making that’s not tennis related.

Like Glenda, I think these awards are great for bloggers to connect and acknowledge each other’s work. I hope my readers would appreciate, read and follow the blogs I nominate as I play along.

Here are my answers to Come With G’s Questions:

1. Has any book influenced your decision to blog?

No, I don’t think a book influenced my decision to blog. My human’s brother was the one who came up with the idea, and she just ran with it. Of course, she couldn’t blog unless I was a willing participant, and it is definitely a team effort.

2. Do you play and or watch sports?

Obviously, I watch a lot of tennis. And even though I am not necessarily “athletic” I also enjoy baseball and golf! What is the common denominator between this sports? They all have a singular, small ball that flies around a court, field or course.

3. What’s your favorite destination?

My favorite destination is anywhere except the vet! Please, whatever you do…do NOT take me to the vet!

4. Do you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera?

I prefer to be in front of the camera, and my human behind the camera. I think she does an excellent job at really capturing my personality…even though I may have to remind her to shoot “my good side.”

5. Who is your favorite artist/artiste?

I have a good friend named Jen who creates wonderful pieces of art. She works in acrylics, oils and watercolor. Her site is lifemaderooted.com. You should really check her out!

Life Made Rooted

Continuing to play along, the blogs which I nominate are:

  1. The Nonalcoholic Student
  2. No Purpose Club
  3. Emma Does Life
  4. Cup of Books
  5. Special City Life

These are among my favorite blogs. Their musings on life, books, parenting and everything in between are super thought-provoking and entertaining to read, so I’m happy to follow these blogs. Check them out if these topics interest you.

My questions for them are:

1.Do you use other social media outlets to promote your blog? If so, which ones and have they been successful?

2. What was your biggest influence in starting your blog?

3. Describe your perfect Saturday.

4. Do you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera, and why?

5. Name your favorite book, song, and movie.

The Rules:

1. Thank the nominator and post a link back to their blog.

2. Answer the questions the nominator has set out for you.

3. Nominate new blogs and set out questions for them to answer.

4. Notify the nominees of their nominations by commenting on their blog or social media.

5. When creating your nomination post, list the rules and include the Sunshine Award logo in it.

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Federer – Back on Top!

Roger Federer and I have something in common! We both like being #1!

Image: Forbes

I like to be #1 cool cat at my house and Roger like to be #1 in tennis. My feat is not nearly as impressive as Roger’s, especially since I am the only cat at my house. Roger, at the age of 36 years old and counting, has regained the #1 ranking on the ATP tour, becoming the oldest world number one. He did that this week by winning his quarterfinal match against Robin Haase at the Rotterdam Open. Did he stop there? Of course not! He went on to beat Grigor Dimitrov in the final, in quick 54 minute match. It was a “don’t blink or you will miss it” type match. It’s almost as if Dimitrov didn’t even have time to tie his shoes before Federer was walking up to the net to shake his hand.

I can hear you now asking “Frazier, when are you going to stop writing about the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal?” Well, as much as we have all been waiting for the next group of guys to emerge to the top, they all have a LONG way to go. Roger and Rafa are not giving up #1 and #2 for a good long while, I might as well go into hibernation. The point difference between #2 and #3 is 4645 (#2 has 9650 and #3 has 4960), and it is going to take something serious to shake up the tennis world before that next cluster of players to narrow that gap. Like Paul Annacone said while calling the match for the Tennis Channel, this is the difference between very good players and great players.

So for now, I will meow…Congratulations Roger on regaining the world #1 ranking and congratulations on winning another singles title!

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Freak Accidents

Freak accidents are the worst! And it always seems they happen to the best people.

I was sitting on the couch this morning, warm and cuddling up to my human. We were enjoying a great semifinal match of the Rotterdam Open between two of our favorite players, Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin. And just like that, it happened. All of a sudden, David Goffin is bent over at the net, holding his eye, obviously in pain. It happened so fast, my human had to rewind the show because we missed it the first time. On our second look, David Goffin approached the net for a slice backhand, but instead of the ball floating over the net, it hit his racquet and bounced towards him quickly, popping him square in the eye. Freak accident. And just like that, Goffin had to retire this match due to a freak accident injury.

Goffin forced to retire in Rotterdam following freak eye injury

If you recall, another freak accident happened to David Goffin during the French Open last year. He slid on the clay towards the back of the court, and his slide went under the tarp that is folded up back there. This freak injury jacked up his ankle and he was out for months.

Lets hope this injury is relatively minor and he is back playing in a couple of weeks. But in the meantime…get well David!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Valentine’s Day from Frazier’s Racket!

A time to celebrate all things “LOVE!”

Image result for valentines day gifs

And why not? This week, we have a classic Valentine’s Day combo. No, I’m not talking about chocolate covered strawberries (although those are pretty darn delicious). I’m talking about two of my favorite things…tennis and New York! It is the New York Open!

Logo

It’s in its inaugural year for this tournament out on Long Island (used to be played in Memphis as, you guessed it, the Memphis Open), so this is purrty exciting! Not quite the US Open, but a smaller, Masters 250 tournament. It features several American players, so it’s nice to see the US Men’s tennis be represented so prominently.

Unfortunately, some of the American players have already tarnished this shiny new event with court side altercations and accusations of racism. This happened during the opening round match between Donald Young and Ryan Harrison. Harrison started the altercation during one of the change-overs, and then after the match, Young took to Twitter accusing Harrison of making racist remarks during their match. Unfortunately the TV coverage on the Tennis Channel was like watching NASA footage from another planet, so the television viewers could not tell what was said between the two players. The ATP says they are investigating the issue and will take any allegations of this nature seriously. I certainly hope so.

This situation really bums me out! Why can’t players get along…especially players from the same country? I think this is indicative of deeper issues…a country divided in these cold, testy, political times. We saw it when Tennys Sandgryn, an extreme alt-right American from Tennessee who made a decent run at the Australian Open. Once he was in the spotlight, everything about him was exposed and he ended up deleting most of his Twitter posts because his views were under scrutiny.

Can’t we all just support each other, lift each other up and get along? Is that too much for a cat to ask? There is a possibility that Harrison will meet Young in doubles, so that should be a fireworks match…but not the good kind that light up the sky, but the bad kind that is harmful and disruptive. Stop giving tennis a bad name, guys!

OK, well let’s think happy, loving thoughts this Valentine’s Day!! Yay tennis! Yay New York!

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