SoCal Buzz – Year in Review

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THANK GOD THERE AIN’T NO PESKY PYRAMIDS OR TAJ MAHALS ‘ROUND HERE TO DISTRACT ME: In Melbourne, lanky ‘n’ loveable Sam Querrey of Thousand Oaks said “My coach lived in Melbourne. So he’s here with his wife, parents and their friends. They can show me around. It’s just a nice city. I’m not a big sightseer. And sometimes when you go to Europe, you have to see the Eiffel Tower and places like that. You don’t have to see anything here, and I like that.”

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: After the 6-foot-6 Querrey won the Tennis Channel Open over 6-foot-7 Kevin Anderson, Jimmy Arias quipped, “The little guy won.”

NOT TO WORRY – KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE BALL IS AN ACQURIED CRAFT: Lindsay Davenport reported that her one-year-old son Jagger, who loves to hang out at her practices, “always holds a racket and…[is] trying to follow the ball, but he’s always two shots too late.”

BATTERIES [AND BABY SITTING] NOT INCLUDED: After Davenport talked about her warm relationship with duns partner, Daniela Hantuchova, she was asked whether “the friendship has extended to baby-sitting.” When asked how it is for players to come back on tour after becoming a parent, Davenport noted, “It’s probably easier for a guy to come back after having a child.”

AND NOW FOR A QUICK, LITTLE REFLECTION ON PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY: The Times’ Bill Dwyre noted that “Federer has been No. 1 since Jimmy Carter was president. Okay, it just seems that long. He actually took over the top spot Feb. 2, 2004. Dwyre also noted, “Tennis is a strange, traveling road show. Its ups can be off-the-chart high, as in the recent Wimbledon, [but] its downs can be Wednesday-night-in-Carson low, when empty seats are the dominant wallpaper.”

PLAYGIRL TO PLAYMOM: LA resident Ashley Harkleroad received $250,000 to pose naked for Playboy, a quarter of her career prize money to date. In LA, She was in big media demand due to her Playmate shoot, but declined to a lot of appearances because she felt that it would take her mind off her real career and she had begun to struggle in a big way. “ It’s hard enough to win matches and try to stay focused and that’s not working either. [The attention] a little distracting, but I’m enjoying it.”
After being dusted at the East West Bank Classic, Harkleroad said that she her boyfriend and coach, Chuck Adams, might consider staying at home in Beverly Hills and figure out what was going on with her physically. “He’s having to deal with female hormones,” Harkleroad said. A few weeks later, she discovered exactly why her hormones were charged — she’s pregnant and is due to give birth sometime late this spring.

NO LOVE FOR THE RUSSIANS: While in LA, Patty Schnyder lobbied in favor of on court coaching. Russia’s Nadia Petrova said she was going to vote against it, even though she’s used the rule a lot, because “It’s a little distracting when you have coaches walking on court and most of them are parents.”

SCHNYDER COUNTERED: “She’s Russian and it’s mostly the Russians who are that way so she shouldn’t talk to much.” When told that that Russian Vera Zvonareva’s concern is that the rule is unfair to young players who can’t afford coaches, Schnyder said, “It’s not that they can’t afford it, or maybe their national federations don’t help, but it’s because they are not willing to pay for coaching, especially the Russians.”

I LOVE MYSELF: While in LA, Jelena Jankovic reflected on her delightful yet slightly nutty personality. “I’m very outgoing and I like to have fun. I like to be a copy of myself and I have my own image and attitude. It’s a very small amount of people in tennis who have a good sense of humor and have a good time and just be themselves. Most are serious and try to do their job and not to show any emotion. They are kind of plain. People can tell if I’m hurt, happy, down, or having fun. I express myself. I can’t fake it. Whatever I do come outs for real. It’s organic. It’s not fake.”

OF NOTE
Mardy Fish and LA’s Stacey Gardner, an attorney and TV model on the game show “Deal or No Deal,” were married in Beverly Hills in September…Jimmy Connors was charged with a misdemeanor offense in Santa Barbara Superior Court after he was cited for arguing with police before a UCSB game in November. Connors’s camp claims that he and his son Brett took a taxi and once in line, a man repeatedly bumped into Jimmy and began insulting him. The police arrived and told Connors to leave, but Jimmy said he couldn’t because he came in a taxi and wanted to wait for the game to end. He was then arrested for being “a non-student refusing to leave the campus,” but will fight the charge…San Diego’s Larry Stefanki snagged the nation’s top male individual coaching job when he was named Andy’s Roddick’s tutor…The American Medical Tennis Association held their fall meeting at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where 30 physicians and their spouses enjoyed winter tennis in the desert.

FAREWELLS
Gloria Loraine Kramer, the wife of legendary Hall of Famer Jack Kramer and the matriarch of L.A.’s grandest tennis family, died of natural causes on February 13. The mother of five sons — Bob, David, John, Michael and Ron — and the grandmother of seven, she was 84 and had been married for a mere 63 years…Prize-winning author David Foster Wallace, who wrote extensively about tennis, took his own life at his Claremont, home at the age of 46…After 33 years, The Marriott Tennis Club in Newport Beach closed.

UP and COMING
The USPTA California Division Convention and High School Coaches Clinic will take place January 24 and 25 at the Manhattan Beach Country Club. Teaching pros, directors of tennis, head pros, high school & college coaches and assistants are invited to hear multiple seminars, as well as attend clinics and exhibitor show. Featured speakers include Greg Patton, Steve Simon, Peter Smith, Brad Stine and Robert Van’t Hoff. For further info and a brochure, visit usptadivisions.uspta.com/html/CA2009Conventionbrochure.pdf
Don’t forget to lock in your team’s space in the always popular Palm Desert Senior Cup, March 23 – March 26. For info visit pdsc.homestead.com.

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