If I Were A Betting Cat, I’d Be Broke

Furriends, we are wrapping up the clay court season, and that means the start of the French Open!

Image: lizabiggers.com

We are only two days in, and everything is already topsy turvy!

Here are some French Open wagers I would have lost!

I would have been all in for Dominic Thiem to win the whole tournament! But yesterday, in an inexplicable match, the second best clay court player right now, and my purrsonal favorite, lost in the first round to Pablo Andujar! Thiem took some time off earlier this season to get his mind and body right, so I guess he’s just not totally back yet.

Given his track record on clay, I would have bet a straight flush against Daniil Medvedev winning a single match at Roland Garros! But sure enough, this morning, he wins his first round match in straight sets. Now whose $$$ would be flushed?

I would have played the odds and gave Francis Tiafoe the upper edge against fellow aging American, Steve Johnson. Tiafoe is young and fierce, so I thought he had the upper hand in this first round match. I was wrong. Steve Johnson came back from two sets down, to win it in five.

I would have never made a blind bet that World #1, Naomi Osaka, would withdraw from the French Open because she doesn’t want to do the press conferences, stating mental health issues. She was fined $15,000 for skipping her press conference following her first round match. She, subsequently, withdrew from the tournament. I just think it’s a real shame it had to escalate to this.

Image:istockphoto.com

I would have won a small stack of change for this last bet: Roger Federer winning his first round match. He’s 39 years old, he’s been out with knee issues since before the pandemic, and clay is not his favorite surface. He looked good today, taking his opponent down in three sets. His next opponent is Marin Cilic, who, if I’m being purrfectly honest, is also in the twilight of his career, so this should be interesting.

The only wager that is safe to make at this point is the one you don’t make!

So in the wise words of the great American country singer, Kenny Rogers:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em,

Know when to fold ’em,

Know when to walk away,

Know when to run.

And I know when to just relax on the sofa and keep my money in my pockets!

Dominic Is Back!

Clay court season is nice. Clay court season with Dominic Thiem is better!

Image: yahoo!sports

And it couldn’t come at a nicer time!

We are midway through the 2021 clay court season that travels like my passport’s fantasy European vacation. Spain, Italy, Monaco, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland…and leads up to the pièce de résistance in Paris, France…the French Open!

Dominic Thiem took a much needed wellness break during the first half of the season, but has returned in time for the Masters 1000 event in Madrid. Has he looked sharp as a tack, fresh as a daisy? Not quite. But he’s winning and that’s what counts. His biggest test so far came yesterday in the QF’s against John Isner, who is notorious for his booming first serves. He challenged Thiem for three sets, but Thiem eventually got the win.

He will play Alexander Zverev in the semis today. Zverev, in an inexplicable turn of events, beat Rafa Nadal in his QF match. And it only took his two sets to do it. I really couldn’t believe what my kitty eyes were seeing.

Let’s not forget that Rafa also lost to Andrey Rublev a few weeks ago in Monte Carlo, so maybe Rafa IS human! AND, Novak Djokovic was also taken out early in Monte Carlo by Dan Evans. I’ve said it before, so I don’t want to jinx anything, but…it there a bit of a breakdown in the Big Three? Time will tell.

In other Madrid news…one of my new faves, Casper Ruud, won his QF match and Italian cutie patooty, Mateo Barretini won his QF match, so those two will face each other in the semis. That will be a close match up, I think, but I am predicting Ruud will reign the winner.

So, settle in and enjoy the return on Dominic. Maybe this will be his year to hoist the La Coupe des Mousquetaires!

And….He’s Gone!

Well, Federer’s return was a short one! Today, he faced Nikolos Basilashvili, and he just couldn’t make it happen.

Now here’s a mini-confession. Any time I get to see Basilashvili play, it’s always a special treat (not as special as the Greenies my mom just brought home) and I will most likely root for him. There is just something about his brooding eyes that I get lost in. Wouldn’t you agree?

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Now, don’t be sad for Roger! It was great to see him back! And he felt good about his return. From ESPN.com:

“I would have loved to play tomorrow, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, I’m also happy to get a rest,” he said. “I’m happy how I played today. I’m happy how I did yesterday. I’m happy I am back on the Tour. I’m pleased I came here to Doha. So it’s really, really a positive return for me.”

I’m sure we will see him soon…maybe playing some clay court tournaments, getting ready for Roland Garros? Who knows?

Another player who was here yesterday and now he’s gone…Dominic Thiem! My hopes for him is that he didn’t peak at the US Open last year. I would be terribly disappoint. Please Domi, my tender kitty heart couldn’t take it.

I do want to give a quick meow-out to Taylor Fritz! He had a great match today against Denis Shapovalov. Go Taylor!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Frazier’s Racket

Happy Valentine’s Day! Can you feel the love tonight?
I certainly didn’t last night! Valentine’s Day Eve was nothing but disappointment after disappointment! Some victories, but also some real shockers!

Image: Frazier’s Racket

We had many of my favorites playing in the fourth round last night, and it was one surprise after another.

Let’s start with the good news. Serena, Simona and Naomi made it through their matches…shocked that all had to fight it out in a third set, but they got it done. And then let’s not forget the 35 year old, Su-Wei Hsieh. She’s playing her best tennis and finished her match in short order, 6-2, 6-2. Pawtastic job, women!

And then we have the men! I’m not sure what was going on. Dominic Thiem lost his match to Grigor Dimitrov in three quick sets. I’m happy for Dimitrov, but man, Thiem looked pawful! And then we have Felix Auger-Aliassime. Bless his little Valentine’s heart! The kid can’t catch a break. He was up two sets against gualifier, Aslan Karatsev, and couldn’t close it out. Dude, get it together!

On the more predictable side of things, Zverev cruised through his match in three sets against Dusan Lajovic. And then we have Novak Djokovic against Milos Raonic. I was hoping against all hope that Milos would find a way to win this. But alas, it was Novak with the win.

Tonight, I am going to channel all of my best paws-itive love for the players. We’ve got some good ones to snuggle up with…Jen Brady/Donna Vekic (go Jen), Ash Barty/Shelby Rogers (go Ash), Mackie MacDonald/Medvedev (I’m roaring for the undercat, MacDonald, but we’ll see what happens), Fognini/Nadal (should be a good fierce one, but Nadal will take the win), Tsitsipas/Berrettini (my heart’s on Berrittini, but my money is on the Greek), Rublev/Ruud (this will be Rublev’s but I can hope for an upset?). And many more matches, but these are the ones I’ll have my cat eyes on!

Whatever happens, it is always Love, Love on Valentine’s Day!

The Adidas Identity Crisis

Adidas is having an identity crisis! It doesn’t know who it wants to be.

I’ve already declared that this year, I am going to be nice. That’s who I’m going to be! No crisis here.

With that being meowed, let’s get started.

Are you an outdoorsy hotdog? This mustard and brown combo? Great for a hike, maybe? Separately, I think the two colors would work, but together on court….hmmm!

Image: yahoo!sports

And then you’ve got the white tank on Zverev. You know there is a slang term for a men’s sleeveless white tank top and I just don’t think that’s the best thing for him to be wearing at the moment. But that’s a choice.

Image: yahoo!sports

And then you switch gears and totally knock it out of the part with Dominic Thiem’s shirt! I love this so much! The print is a map graphic of the Great Barrier Reef! One of the best I’ve seen in a while!

Image: Ausopen.com

So who are you, Adidas? In these weird pandemic times, I guess we are all just trying to figure things out!

New Year’s Resolutions I Wish The Players Would Make – 2021 Edition

It’s that time of year again…new year, new beginnings, new resolutions. I, for one, always make one solitary resolution each year – to watch as much tennis as I can!

Reader warning: this post will include some very UNPOPULAR opinions, so read with caution AND an open mind. This is only one feline’s opinion, so read with interest, but leave purrsonal feelings for any one player out of it.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, here we go!

Dominic Thiem – I resolve to win at least one major this season. If I had my preference, it would be the French Open. I know that Frazier has been predicting my success at Roland Garros for years now, so I resolve to make it so!

Reports: Dominic Thiem to play for Austria at ATP Cup 2021, father Wolfgang to be captain
Image: Sportskeeda.com

Stefanos Tsitsipas – I resolve to cut my hair! I know most of my fans have grown accustomed to my pirate-like locks, but hey, even Roger Federer eventually cut his hair and turned out to look quite handsome. I also resolve to stop being “Greek philosopher” on social media. I’m just a 20-something year old guy trying to make my way in the world. I don’t always have to be the Jack Handy of the ATP and have Deep Thoughts.

Image: celebvogue.com

Adidas and Nike – We resolve to design tennis kits that are shocking, bold, innovative! We want to give viewers something to talk about.

Coco Gauff – I resolve to make it to at least a quarterfinal of a grand slam this year! Yes, yes…I know I am only 16 years old, but I have raw talent. Some would even call me a phenom. I recognize this is a lot of pressure, but at the very least…I will try my best!

Image: tennis365.com

Jen Brady – I resolve to build on the momentum of the last half of 2020 and make it to at least one grand slam final! I want to give Frazier and the rest of the tennis fans some American tennis to be proud of! I’m good. I’m really good, and I can’t wait for 2021 to improve on my successes!

Image: tennisaccent.com

Vika Azarenka – I resolve to win at least one grand slam this year, maybe the US Open! I know that, at 31 years old, time may not be on my side, but have you seen what Serena has been able to accomplish after 30? I got this!

Image: essentiallysports.com

Roger Federer – (OK furriends, here’s where it might get dicey…I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am arguably the best male tennis player of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I am 39 years old. I missed most of 2020 due to surgeries on my right knee, not the pandemic. I have already withdrawn from this year’s Australian Open, but I will be focusing on Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics. I think it’s time to officially call it a day, and retire. Retire with dignity, like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi!

Image: express.co.uk

Serena Williams – (again, I warned you) – I resolve to retire. I am undoubtedly the best tennis player, male or female, of all time. I have nothing more to prove. I’ve beat all the records. I’m an icon! I have a beautiful family who loves and supports me. My life is full. I have it all, and then some!

Image: usmagazine.com

All tennis players – we resolve to follow the rules! All of the rules. We are still lucky enough to play our sport globally, even during a worldwide pandemic. Tournament officials have certain health and safety protocols in place so that we can continue to travel, play and make our livings doing what we love. We must respect them and do as they say. They are working with experts on this, and hey, we are just tennis players, not scientists. We will trust they are working in our best interest because we are working in everyone’s self interest…including the fans who have patiently waited for the return of tennis!

OK feline friends, what do you think? Will any of these resolutions come to fruition? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

The tennis season opens this week with two tournaments for the men, the Delray Beach Open in Florida and the Antalya Open in Turkey, and one tournament for the women, the Abu Dhabi Open. The first grand slam, the Australian Open, which usually takes place toward the end of January, has been pushed back to February 8. They played a little shuffleboard with the tournament schedule this year, but that’s OK. It’s keep me on my paws and I will be sure to bring you all of the excitement of the 2021 tennis season.

ATP Final = Sad Cat Day

Well furriends, I cannot hide it…I am a sad cat. I wanted Dominic Thiem to win so bad today. But he didn’t. Daniil Medvedev was just better. Plain and simple.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images

Everyone purr-dicted Thiem to win this one. He had just won the US Open and he was a finalist last year. But that just goes to show how un-purr-dictable tennis can be.

Sure, the first set started out very routine, with Thiem winning it 6-4. Then Medvedev fought back in the second set and won the set tiebreak, 7-6. And, I don’t know, I could tell Dominic was totally over it. He didn’t have much fight left in him and Daniil finally won it all!

Since I had had my fill of Brett and Jim on the Tennis Channel, I thought “Frazier, get back to your old favorites on ESPN, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe. Let’s see what these fellas have to say.”

They are equally entertaining as their Tennis Channel cohorts, but in a completely different way. Brad is a bit Malibu and Patrick is old school New York. So here we go…

Dominic has a habit of blowing on his fingers, as if he had just touch a hot tamale, when he sets up to return a serve. Patrick McEnroe said that “blowing on his is his nervous tick…like Nadal picking at his shorts.” Thank you for that visual, Patrick.

After Daniil broke Dominic in the third set, Brad Gilbert said this would be a good time for his coach to start singing “Breakdown” by Tom Petty, or “break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”

Other zingers…

McEnroe of Medvedev…”waving that racquet like a magic wand.”

Gilbert of Thiem…”he’s running dry on [poker] chips.” Which, to be honest, was a very accurate metaphor of what was happening to poor Dominic.

Well, that’s wraps up the 2020 tennis season. Look for recaps, predictions and other nonsensical tennis news for the remainder of the year!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my ATP Finals observations!

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Semi-Finals Wrap Up

Yesterday, I spent an entire day at the O2 Arena in London and it was a-meowzing!

OK, maybe I wasn’t there in purrson, but can’t a kitty dream?

It was the semi-finals, with back to back, world class, best of the best, tennis determining who will be playing this year’s finals and I didn’t miss a minute of it!

The doubles matches did not disappoint! Koolhof/Mektic won quite handily against Granollers/Zeballos. Koolhof never cooled off, but instead brought the heat, taking them down in two sets. The afternoon match between Ram/Salisbury and Melzer/Roger-Vesellin was a different story. This match had everything, and went to a deciding 11-9 tiebreak to determine the winners, Melzer/Roger-Vesselin.

Then there were the singles! It was really just as one would hope…numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 competing to be the year-end best!

First up, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.

If you don’t know Dominic Thiem’s name yet…(and if you follow my blog), then shame on you! Now is the time to get to know him. He’s played in three grand slam finals and won his first grand slam this year at the US Open. He was the runner up at this event last year and he is a real steam roller! He’s built like a brick, has the best one handed back hand on tour, and is relentless on court. He’s been a favorite of mine for year! Trust me. Get to know him!! You’ll like him.

 (Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images

Anyway, back to the match. It was really just one amazing point after another from both Djokovic and Thiem. So close, like every point was determining the other’s fate. It went to three sets, with Thiem winning 7-5, 6 (10)-7, 7-6 (5). It doesn’t get much closer than that! And to sweeten the win…that was Thiem’s 300th tour match win!

The evening match was a rematch from last year’s round robin between Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. I was there for that one. Daniil was up 5-1 in the third set, so I decided to cut out early, beat the crowd rush and enjoy a nice dinner. Boy did I make a mistake! Rafa rallied back and won that match, and I missed it…for what? Pasta and a glass of wine! Lesson learned, Frazier…it’s not over ’til it’s over!

Anyway, back to the match. Believe it or not, Nadal has never won the year end final. He’s qualified (by the end of the year, he’s been ranked within the top eight) 16 times and has played this tournament ten times. (The other six, he was out with injuries) So, Rafa was definitely hungry for a win. And I, myself, was wondering if Medvedev had it in him to beat Rafa. Well, all was answered soon enough. Rafa won the first set very quickly 6-3, so I thought this is going to be over in a flash. And then a remarkable thing happened…Medvedev just kept coming at him! He took the second set to a tiebreak and won 6-7(4). We’ve all seen Rafa resurrect from the ashes and come back for a victory before, but not this time. Matter of fact, his playbook was all wrong. It’s like he couldn’t figure out the magic formula to beat Medvedev, and Medvedev wins the third set, 6-3.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images

Jim Courier and Brett Haber were at it again, calling this match, and Jim was really on a roll with the metaphors and word play. The amount of food and 80’s references he made, well, he’s a man after my own heart!

Things Jim said:

Banana forehand: (referring, I “think” to Rafa’s overhead forehand)

Snicker’s: what Jim ate before the match

Rubik’s Cube: (Medvedev…the puzzle Rafa was trying to solve)

Nip/Tuck: how close the match was

Gumby: Daniil Medvedev

Slinky: Rafa Nadal

M&M’s: how Jim can’t just eat one, and then some fruit

Pringles (OK, maybe that was Brett)

He also said that Rafa had fallen too much in love with his slice today, which was totally not the right strategy against Daniil. Fair…and true!

So there you have it! Today’s doubles final will be Koolhof/Mektic vs. Melzer/Roger-Vesselin. I’m calling Koolhof/Mektic on this…winning at their debut ATP Finals would be sweet!

Today’s singles final will be Dominic Thiem vs. Daniil Medvedev. This could really be anyone’s game, but I’m calling Thiem as the victor! Thiem is red hot right now, but Medvedev will be flying high, full of confidence after his win against Nadal yesterday. I guess we will have to watch and see.

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ATP Finals – Frazier’s Fantasy World Purr-eview!

The stage has been set for the final men’s tournament of the year, the ATP Finals, November 15-22. Here is my purrsonal purr-eview of the players.

In honor of it’s 50th anniversary I present “Group Tokyo 1970″ and Group London 2020”.

GROUP TOKYO 1970

Novak Djokovic: Not my favorite player, to be honest. He’s had a few hiccups during the pandemic (hosted a super-spreader in Serbia, hit a line judge in the throat at the US Open, to name a few). But he’s chasing tennis history like I chase a mouse around the house, so he’s the real deal at this event.

Novak Djokovic keen for breakaway tennis union despite high-profile  resistance | Tennis News | Sky Sports
Image: skysport.com

Alexander Zverev: I’m not going to give much space to this guy. He is denying serious allegations of assault by an ex-girlfriend. I want to like this guy, but he’s making it real difficult. Right now, I’d rather hack up a thousand hair balls than see this guy win.

ATP Wimbledon Quarterly Betting Preview: Sascha Zverev Looks Vulnerable |  The Action Network
Image: The Action Network

Daniil Medvedev: I’m coming around to this cat. I know that’s a purrty controversial opinion, but I like his style and I think he’s trying to improve his image.

Daniil Medvedev Is the Next Great Tennis Villain - InsideHook
Image: Inside Hook

Diego Schwartzman: At 5’7″, he is an unlikely contender. But here he is and he’s had a stellar year! I’m happy for this Argentinian…now if we can only get him to stop with the “backwards hat” nonsense.

Diego Schwarzman: The biggest Mensch in tennis - The Jerusalem Post

GROUP LONDON 2020:

Rafael Nadal: ME? You want to play tennis with me, Rafa? OK, let me grab my racquet and I’ll be right over! That’s how I feel about my main cat, Rafa Nadal! Meow!

Spain tennis star Rafael Nadal
Image: NPR

Dominic Thiem: ME? You winking at me, Domi? Back at ya! And that’s how I feel about my other main cat, Dominic Theim.

Dominic Thiem continues French Open winning run | Tennis News | Sky Sports
Image: Sky Sport

Stefanos Tsitsipas: Reigning champ, this one. Bless his heart, this one! For the most part, this guy managed to stay out of trouble during the pandemic and focused on tennis. Now, if he would stop being a jerk to his dad (his coach), he’d be in good shape. Take my advise, Stefanos…let your dad be your dad and get yourself a different coach. How you behave with your dad (coach or not) is not a good look for you.

French Open: I Should Have Trusted My Instincts Earlier, Says Beaten Stefanos  Tsitsipas
Image: News18.com

Andrey Rublev: Let’s be honest, I’m just not a fan of his headband. There, I hissed it! Headband aside, he has had a remarkable year and I see great things in his future!

Nobody is going to punch you in the face” Andrey Rublev on boxing
Image: Tennishead

So, predictions…

There is a finalist from each group. In a Frazier’s Fantasy World, it would be Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem slugging it out next Sunday at the finals, with Thiem hoisting the winner’s trophy. Unfortunately, my Real World prediction is quite boring, and I’m afraid, might come true. I see Novak and Rafa playing in the finals with the win going to Novak. Cat Nap City! Wake me up when it’s over.

No * Needed

Now that the bubble has burst and the dust has settled on this unprecedented US Open, I want to paw my final thoughts.

Men's final preview: Dominic Thiem vs. Alexander Zverev - Official Site of  the 2020 US Open Tennis Championships - A USTA Event
Image: US Open

Since this year’s Open was so unusual because of the pandemic, some cats were wondering “Would we have to put an asterisk by this year’s winner?” Emphatically, my answer is No!

True, two of the “Big Three” were not in attendance. But Roger Federer has been out with an injury anyway, so he wasn’t going to be there. And let’s face it…things happen that prevent the “top” players from being at tournaments. But let’s also face it…what goes up, must come down, and eventually the Big Three will be an * of their own.

What we did have was world #1, Novak Djokovic, world #3 Dominic Theim, and seven of the top ten players there, so there was no shortage of talent who could lifted the trophy come Championship Sunday. I feel like this was a level playing field for anyone to win. The past few years, these guys have been knocking on the grand slam door, ready to kick it open. It would happen eventually. And this year, it did!

And then we have the line judge incident that was heard around the world! It seems like everything stopped and people couldn’t process that Novak Djokovic was disqualified for his actions, leaving him out of contention of this grand slam title.

There was no foregone conclusion that Djokovic was going to win that match. Pablo Carreno Busto was ahead in that match…hence the Novak tantrum. I could tell when watching that he was having an off day, and felt certain that PCB was going to win. A casual tennis fan may argue that point, but I know what I was watching. Everybody, even the best players, have an off day every once in a while.

The semi finals were as they should have been…PCB vs. Alex Zverev and Thiem vs. Medvedev. Even though the Zverev semi final was a struggle to watch, mediocre tennis at best, I always picked Zverev to win. The other semi final was quite predictable to me.

Dominic Thiem trophy
Image: tennishead.net
Alexander Zverev: 'I Don't Think It's My Last Chance' | ATP Tour | Tennis
Image: ATP Tour

Anyone who ever debates the relevance of best of five sets in grand slams just needs to watch the Final match between Dominic Thiem and Alex Zverev. Yes, Alex started out on fire, winning the first two sets easily. One could argue that he was too “warm” when he started…a lesson for him on another day. If this was a regular tour tournament, he would be the winner. However, this is what sets grand slams apart. Dominic Thiem found a little something extra, a winner’s will and spirit, and came back to win the next three sets! It was unbelievable to watch…especially with an empty stadium. The deafening silence was eerie. If you listened closely, you could hear each player’s thoughts, strategies and frustrations yelling from the rooftop of Arthur Ashe Stadium throughout the match. I found it fascinating to witness. A true test of wills.

So, was this year’s US Open different than years passed? Yes! Fur sure! Does the winner earn any less credit because the final didn’t have one of the Big Three in it? Absolutely not!

Here Comes the Champion, Rise Up!

Out gunned…

Out manned…

Out numbered…

Out planned…

Image: Tennischannel

It was a battle of wills for Sascha Zverev and Dominic Thiem in today’s US Open final. One thing was for certain…we would have a new grand slam champion by the end of the day. Dominic has been in grand slam finals before, but couldn’t get the job done. Sascha seemed to choke at the grand slams, so it was surprising to some that he was even here. But here we are…nothing should surprise us in NYC!

Out gunned…Dominic Thiem was totally getting out gunned, out powered in the first two sets. Sascha had him on the ropes from the beginning. The first set couldn’t have lasted more than 20 minutes in a quick 6-2 in Sascha’s favor. But mid-third set, Sascha let off the gas and Dominic ran with it! Now we have a match!

Out manned…more than anything, this was a mental battle to the finish! I’m not sure where Dominic’s head was for the first hour or so, but when the light came on, he was in it to win in. Tennis is often like this…an up and down roller coaster. That is what makes grand slam 5 setters unique (and why we should keep them). So many momentum shifts, it was never fully one-sided, because you knew that, one bad play and everything changes.

Out numbered….Dominic knew what he needed to do. After being down the first two sets and the numbers completely against his favor, he knew if he had any chance to win this, he would have to step it up! And the cool cat did!

Out planned…Sascha Zverev came in with a game plan. He was slow to start in his previous two matches, so he knew he needed to be ready once he stepped on center court. He was on a practice court just moments before the match started, and I think this played to his advantage. I don’t know if Thiem had a solid plan. But, experience took over, especially toward the end, and he was able to finish victoriously!

The fifth set had everything….leg cramps, service breaks, a historic first US Open final decided by a fifth set tie break, a first time grand slam champion. Bravo to both players. Really, they were both magnificent! I feel for both of the guys, but congrats to the Champion!

So, here we have the Champion! Dominic Thiem…Rise Up!

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Image: nj.com

I’m Back!

And so is tennis!

I took a bit of a kitty vacay last year, and then tennis took a little tenny vacay this year, but guess what? Real tennis starts today and I can’t be more excited!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock…or a bed, or a blanket fort (my favorite place to hide), you know that 2020 has been the most unusual of all years I’ve been around. A horrible pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt in March, and it has taken months to slowly get back to some type of “normal.”

No, things aren’t totally back to how they were, and I’m not going to focus on the negative of what “was.” I have my sights on what “is”, and what that is right now is real, live professional tennis that matters.

The Western and Southern Open, aka the Cincy Open, will begin in a matter of a few minutes, and all the top stars, sans Federer and Nadal, will be there! Novak, Dominic, Serena. And you know I’ll be watching!

Now don’t get confused. Yes, this is the Cincy Open, (as in Cincinnati), but it’s being played in New York City this year! It’ll serve as the warm up tournament to the US Open. It’s a Masters 1000 event, meaning 1000 ranking points are on the line. This is no joke!

Image:explica.com

Yes, New York City…concrete jungle where dreams are made of! Maybe this is the year that Dominic Thiem finally wins a major. He’s been to the finals many times now, but he’s never been able to win the big one. Or maybe it’s our favorite Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won the ATP Finals last year in London…which I attended and it was totally awesome! (Maybe I’ll tell you about that some time) We’ll just have to wait and see.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Bio, Age, Girlfriend, Family Life of The Greek ...
Image: celebily.com

I’ll be sure to keep you in the know of all things tennis. So, stay tuned! And welcome back, TENNIS!

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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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 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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