The Buzz – August Edition

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I’LL TWITTER,YOU GET YOUR PHD: Serena said Venus “is really artsy and into smart things like…learning languages and getting degrees. I’m into Twitter.”

THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST: <

/span>Despite beating Elena Dementieva, Serena said, “My forehand didn’t show up. I think she went to Hawaii.”

PARTY GALS:
• When asked what she’s been doing since winning the French Open, Svetlana Kuznetsova joked, “You know, party every day until 6 a.m. and then sleep during the day.”
• While partying at a Vegas nightclub, Anna Kournikova was reportedly involved in a brawl when a woman soaked her with a cocktail.

One Photo, Four Legends, 51 Slams: Borg, Sampras and Laver saluted Federer as the greatest of the greats.
One Photo, Four Legends, 51 Slams: Borg, Sampras and Laver saluted Federer as the greatest of the greats. (Getty Images)

THIS JUST IN: Kournikova edged out Maria Sharapova as the sexiest women’s player ever in a poll conducted for Mivvi Luxury Ice Cream Lollies.

OBAMA CALLS RODDICK TO ADVISE HIM ON HEWITT MATCH (NOT): After the tabloids went celebrity hunting with a ridiculous string of boorish questions to Andy Roddick about Justin Timberlake and British pop singer Rick Astley, an American reporter finally intervened, asking, “[In terms of] your call from Barack Obama after the match, what did he tell you to do in your upcoming match with Hewitt?”

FREUD VISITS WIMBLEDON: The momentous occasion of the Wimbledon roof being closed for the first time was greeted with wild applause and a jolly Freudian slip, as a gentleman with a refined accent announced: “Play is due to begin in 20 or 30 minutes once the referee is closed.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES: A fan wore a hat that pleaded, “Please, stop the grunting!”

SAFIN-AHH: Dinara Safina has gone deep into one tournament after another. But time and again she stinks up the gym at crunch time. Latest example: her humbling 6-1, 6-0 loss to Venus in the semis. And, of course, she’s No. 1.

RIDICULOUS RANKINGS: Serena has launched devastating on-again, off-again attacks on the rankings and Safina’s hold on No. 1. “I think if you hold three Grand Slam titles maybe you should be No. 1, but not on the WTA Tour, obviously,” said Serena. “My motivation is maybe just to win another Grand Slam and stay No. 2…I think Dinara did a great job to get to No. 1. She won Rome and Madrid.”

ONE OF THE GREAT FREAK FACTS IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICANS AT WIMBLEDON: The last three American men left at Wimbledon — Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Jesse Levine — all went to Boca Prep in Boca Raton, Fla. But Roddick admitted the school’s team wasn’t undefeated because the guys would go to the French Open before the season ended.

DON’T BARKER UP THAT TREE: After BBC broadcaster John McEnroe fiddled with the audio buttons in his broadcast booth and ended up not being able to hear what BBC host Sue Barker was saying, he told her, “I tried to turn you off, but I couldn’t,” Barker jokingly conceded. “Most people try to do that.”

MOST DOGGED COMMENTARY: The Guardian said the competitive Jesse Levine was “a feisty little terrier who harried his opponent.”

THEY ESCORTED THEM TO THE EXIT: Jesse Levine upset two-time Slam winner Marat Safin in the Russian’s final Wimby appearance. George Bastl beat Sampras in his last Wimbledon. Zina Garrison downed Chris Evert at the U.S. Open in the legend’s farewell. And German Benjamin Becker beat Andre Agassi in his last match before Andre gave his devotional “I stood on your shoulders” farewell speech thanking his fans.

TOP 10 WIMBLEDON STORIES
1. Federer’s Fab 15th!
2. Roddick Reaches Final
3. MurrayMania!

MurrayMania: The papers first built it up as "Andymonium" and said "We're in search of a new Messiah whether it's Murray or Jackson," before claiming "Endy Murray" was a "Zero of a Hero."
MurrayMania: The papers first built it up as "Andymonium" and said "We're in search of a new Messiah whether it's Murray or Jackson," before claiming "Endy Murray" was a "Zero of a Hero." (Art Seitz)

4. All-Williams All Over Again
5. A Roof Over Our Heads
6. Blue Skies, Nothing But…
7. An American Renaissance
8. Nadal Brought To His Knees
9. A New Court Two
10. Old School Vets Rock

RELATED POP QUIZ: Name the greatest player of the Open era to win his last match before retiring? Answer: Pete Sampras, who won the ‘02 U.S. Open before stepping aside.

‘A THOUSAND OAKS TO ONE’: Referring to Sam Querrey’s hometown in the San Fernando Valley, observers at the All England Club had the guts to unleash the punishing quip that the Californian’s chances of winning Wimbledon were about a “Thousand Oaks to one.”

WHAT’S RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN WITH A PERIOD IN BETWEEN: Svetlana Kuznetsova’s French Open win brought to mind the time she first burst onto the scene as Martina Navratilova’s doubles partner. The May-October partnership prompted Navratilova, who was then 46, to comment on her 17-year-old partner: “I see my face and wrinkles coming out. I’m close to menopause and some of these kids haven’t had their period yet…Guys, am I making you uncomfortable?”

THE TAJ MAHAL’S BEEN PAINTED BLUE. THE PYRAMIDS ARE SQUARE, THE LEANING TOWER IS STRAIGHT AND WIMBLEDON HAS A ROOF: The future is now. A grand old sport has entered a brave new world as officials at last closed Wimbledon’s highly touted gateway to God, their new roof.

Yes, Centre Court still has its same semi-sacred grass. The same imposing guards still stand proud and the mighty still dwell in the best seats in the sport — the Royal Box. But, make no mistake about it; the earth has been jarred off its axis. The Taj Mahal has been painted blue. The pyramids are square and that Leaning Tower is straight. Everything had shifted!

For Wimbledon got its first start-to-finish indoor night match when Andy Murray thrilled giddy, flag-waving patriots by turning back Stan Wawrinka in a sizzling five-set marathon.

Here, the soft ever-changing light was replaced by an almost garish glare. The usual pre-match hum is now loud and imposing — almost a clatter. English fans — religiously proper, continually subdued — are now abuzz. Souvenir (‘Look at me! I’m here for history!’) photos are being snapped with a non-stop frenzy.

The heavens are closed, a spectacular (Frank Lloyd Wright would be proud) architectural structure is in place, sealing off the summer dusk. The sense of enclosure is unmistakable, simply overwhelming. Once again, man has subdued nature. Now, hallowed Centre Court was either more wondrous than ever or, if you insist, just like any other arena: let’s book a rock concert or an NBA game.

White and bright, with nine rows of pipe-thin fabric and lights (hidden and apparent), the translucent roof has a stunning beauty. A museum-worthy industrial art installation is now atop the greatest antique arena east of Wrigley or Fenway: old-world Rembrandt meets Picasso. Aesthetically, the blend didn’t quite mesh. Still, unto itself, you could easily argue that the new ceiling was the best roof in all of sports. Sure, it took four lengthy years from inception to completion and now strokes sound oh-so different — Thwock! True, shockingly clear skies stalled its debut and not surprisingly, the move touched off heated debate. “The roof is great!” gushed some. “Long overdue. Now we’ll get our tennis. No more frustrating rain delays. No more financial rip-offs as pricey tickets go to waste.”

“No way,” shrieked others. “Gone now,” the traditionalists argued, “is the in-touch-with-nature mystique of this singular site. Gone is that dance with the dusk that just last year gave us the best match our sport has produced when Rafa and Roger bravely battled into darkness. And gone is the basic competitive imperative of Wimbledon.”

After all, this event is on an island nation long-battered by North Sea storms. So naturally Wimbledon in part asks which competitor can best navigate those maddening “play is suspended” delays that unnerve all but the mighty. But the roof’s advocates volley back that the oceanic tide of modernity cannot and should not be denied, especially here at this still-quirky-after-all-these-years mecca, which more than any sports venue, delights at absorbing waves of change without capsizing that mightiest of ships — tradition.

HEADLINES
• NO VICTORIES PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH
• WIMBLEDON SHOCK: A BRITISH GIRL ACTUALLY WINS
• ANDYMONIUM
• WE’RE IN SEARCH OF A NEW MESSIAH WHETHER IT’S MURRAY OR JACKSON
• MURRAY: THE BIG BUNK-OFF
• KIM’S MISERY AS HER MAN IS BLITZED IN BATTLE OF ANDYS
• ANDY CLIMAX
• ENDY MURRAY
• ANDY’S ZERO OF A HERO
• A-ROD’S TOO HOT FOR SAD ANDY
• MURRAY’S LOSS DEFEATS US ALL
• FACING NIGHTMARE SCENARIO OF DEFEAT NUMBER 19
• FED AND SLAUGHTERED
• FEDERER STAGES EXHIBITION OF RUTHLESS INTENT
• WILL QUEEN VICTORIA RULE AGAIN
• I’M NO SISTER OF MERCY
• SERENA FLAUNTS HER ASSETS
• SIS SUFFERS VENUS ENVY
• MARDY FISH FAILS TO SCALE THE NECESSARY HEIGHTS

ALL QUIET ON THE GRUNTING FRONT? When assessing Victoria Azarenka’s game, the BBC said, “If shrieking is important, she sounds like a future champion”…Portugal’s bright young supershrieker, Michelle Larcher de Brito, who caused an uproar in Paris, won her first round Wimbledon match in a rather quiet manner. The 16-year-old said her grunts depend on the intensity of the match and added, “If my body feels like it needs to grunt more, it grunts.” She said officials didn’t ask her to cool it, and that she would never self-mute. “I’m not here really to be quiet for anybody,” she proclaimed. “I’m here to win. That’s it. If people don’t like my grunting, they can always leave.”

Power, Pride Petulance and Ponytails: Aspiring Azarenka has it all.  (Getty Images)
Power, Pride Petulance and Ponytails: Aspiring Azarenka has it all. (Getty Images)

PETULANCE IS ALIVE AND WELL: Radio Wimbledon said Victoria Azarenka’s “petulant behavior has rather turned the crowd into her opponent’s favor.”

RANKING ROGER’S SLAMS: Fifteen Slams are too many to digest, so let’s break this down. Just what are Federer’s top 10 Slam wins? Based on what he told IT at Wimbledon and our own thoughts, they are:
1. Wimbledon ‘03: Beats Mark Philippoussis. There’s nothing like the first one.
2. Australian Open ‘04: After beating Marat Safin, Federer gains No. 1 slot and finds a new calm. Everything flows and he uses win as a springboard to dominance. Would be No. 1 for four-and-a-half years.
3. French Open ‘09: At last wins on his off surface (Rafa’s dirt) to gain career Grand Slam and tie Sampras’ mark.
4. Wimbledon ‘09: Breaks Sampras’ all-time record in classic marathon over Andy Roddick.
5. Wimbledon ‘07: Ties Bjorn Borg’s record of five straight Wimbledons with win over Rafa. How sweet it is.
6. U.S. Open ‘08: Such redemption, victories over Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray save his season and silence the-sky-is-falling critics.
7. U.S. Open ‘04: First win (over Hewitt) in the Big Apple. ‘If you can make it here…’
8. U.S. Open ‘05: Rumor has it that if Andre Agassi had beaten him in the final, the Las Vegan would have retired.
9. U.S. Open ‘06: Roddick had a lion, Jimmy Connors, in his corner, but Roger had a Tiger in his.
10. Aussie Open ‘06: After falling to Safin the year prior, returns and bags the Bag Man.

POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK: Razzmatazz Maria Sharapova — the life of many a metro-hip party and the long legged hero of glam-squads — has brought much high-heeled glamour to tennis and, based on her sizzle, has pocketed huge endorsement contracts. So we were surprised when ESPN asked her how she would change tennis she included a call to ban the riffraff that crowd player lounges. Maria noted that the lounges aren’t nightclubs and added that “its hard to get ready for a match when there’s a bleached-out blonde in six-inch stilettos and a denim miniskirt hanging out. Who is this person, and why is she here?” Sharapova also called for changeovers to be more lively and suggested tournament organizers needed to “play music or invite dancers and clowns onto the court.” She also called for a fashion board to “Approve all outfits before players could wear them.”

SPEAKING OF CHANGES: Martina Navratilova would like to ban grunting, lets on serves and do-overs on errant serve tosses. She wants no more than five bounces of the ball before a serve [“Ball bounce violation, Mr. Djokovic!”] and would also like to see smaller rackets and a time-clock rule.

THE MOST PALE PEOPLE IN TENNIS: Wimbledon ballpersons. (BTW: For five months before Wimby, they train once a week for two-and-a-half hours. After all, those ball-rolling drills are strenuous. And, no, ballgirls weren’t allowed on Centre Court until ‘85.)

LET ME GUESS WHY?: Serena said, “Everybody thinks I’m No. 1.”

HOW LUCKY CAN WE GET?: The recently remarried Boris Becker was promoting his own TV show in Germany when he proclaimed, “My life is a series of fascinating events people can view. For example, the moment we announced the marriage — that fascinating moment can belong to you.”

JUST WONDERING: Would Andy Roddick be a five-time Slam winner if Federer had remained a soccer player…Is Victoria Azarenka the toughest young player to emerge since Maria Sharapova?…If they gave an award for best ponytail combined with loudest ear-piercing screech, would Azarenka win it?…Will Tiger Tim Henman become either the head of the All England Club or the first tennis player to be knighted (as in Sir Timothy Henman)?

RODGE, GET A GRIP? No other tennis player has approached the sport with such adept planning and (if we can state the obvious) Swiss-like precision than Roger Federer. His wife is due to give birth between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and after winning his 15th Slam, he reached into his bag and pulled out an exquisite Nike jacket with the number 15 stitched on. But this didn’t exactly please British critic Giles Smith, who wrote, “Here’s the greatest tennis player ever and, in many respects, the embodiment of cool — a man for whom the traditional pro tennis demeanors (pent up, self-flagellator, permanently boiling with anguish) are an enigma. And yet, at the same time (and there’s no getting around this) if he had opened up the gold trimmed racket bag he brought out to each match and a chihuahua had popped out, it would have been no surprise…Is there no one around him who could say, ‘Rodge, get a grip.’ “

AND WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON? A reporter asked an English official, “What do you put to the recent success of British women’s tennis?” Never mind that only one of 27 British woman made it to the second round.

The jolly old Chelsea pensioners always add a dash of color to Wimbledon.
The jolly old Chelsea pensioners always add a dash of color to Wimbledon. (Art Seitz)

A CLUE ABOUT THE QUEUE: The delightful Wimbledon queue is the greatest fan phenom in tennis and possibly in all sports. Up to 8,000 hardy, tent-toting fans from Norway or New Zealand show up and camp out for a day or even two to see Andy Murray or anybody the draw may provide. It’s a jolly, not-that-quiet but rather civilized affair. Best advice about the queue? “Get here soon and prepare to wait,” said broadcaster Sam Lloyd.

NOT REALLY: Radio Wimbledon said the simplistic chants offered by Lleyton Hewitt’s fans were “up there with some of the finest lyrics of all time.”

A steward wanted to toss out Hewitt's fanatics. (Getty Images)
A steward wanted to toss out Hewitt's fanatics. (Getty Images)

NO SOUTH AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY SPOKEN HERE: When a reporter approached a tennis sage at Wimbledon and said, “Let’s talk about the Andes,” he wasn’t suggesting a conversation about that towering South American mountain range. He was referring to Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.

THE MOST SARCASTIC PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF TENNIS?: Andy Roddick?

A RATHER ORGASMIC OBSERVATION:
Alyson Rudd noted, “As Andy Murray serves a succession of aces, the Centre Court crowd sounds like they’re acting out the restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally.”

OBSCURE FACTOID OF THE MONTH: On Wikepedia, Jurgen Melzer is described as “the best player in history to never reach the fourth round of a major.”

MATCHES OF THE TOURNAMENT: Federer vs. Roddick; Murray vs. Wawrinka (first indoor and at night); Roddick vs. Hewitt; Serena vs. Dementieva; Roddick vs. Murray; Cilic vs. Querrey; Haas vs. Cilic.

SAY IT ISN’T SO: It’s been 23 majors since an American man has won (Andy Roddick at the ‘03 U.S. Open)…Nadal’s communal home life has been widely celebrated, but sadly news has emerged from the family compound in Majorca that his parents have separated…Wimbledon stewards tried to evict some Lleyton Hewitt fans because they were too loud.

WHO SEZ LITERATURE’S DEAD?: Chris Clarey noted that Britain’s Georgie Stoop had a rather Dickensian name… After Andy Murray’s win over Stan Wawrinka, one paper suggested: IT’S WAW AND PEACE FOR ANDY.

POLITICALLY CORRECT STAT OF THE TOURNAMENT: Eight different players in the men’s quarters from eight different countries. (BTW: A player from Kazakhstan broke into the draw for the first time.)

HONOR YOUR ELDERS: The men’s quarters included six vets: Hewitt, Roddick, Ferrero, Haas, Karlovic and Federer.

VISCERAL VISUALS: The nighttime aerial view of an illuminated Centre Court looking like a space ship…Federer, Sampras, Borg and Laver together…Federer celebrating, Andy mourning…Serena’s “Are You Looking At My Titles?” T-shirt…Ana Ivanovic in tears.

CURIOUS QUESTIONS:
• Do we have a revival of the new balls generation here?
• Mr. Wawrinka, why is your nose so red?
• [Serena], do you feel you’re carrying women’s tennis, and why aren’t there people coming out to challenge you guys properly?

GO FIGURE: The Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick had an average of 5.71 million people tuning in, the highest since Sampras beat Agassi in ‘99…Despite being the defending champs Venus and Serena were seede No. 4 in doubles…When she won the doubles with Venus, Serena celebrated with far greater zip than when she won the singles…The scene of Wimbledon fans dashing madly to get a good seat on Henman Hill is like Wal-mart opening its doors at 5 a.m. for its Thanksgiving Sale…Ivo Karlovic, who reached the fourth round, is 6-foot-10. But there was a 4-foot-11 Wimbledon champ.

AND NOW FOR A LITTLE DEBATE ON THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE OF OUR DAY: Should the viewing and picnic knoll at Wimbledon be called Henman Hill? After all, Tim earned it. Or should we all be flexible and call it Murray Mount, now that Andy’s doing so well?

HENMAN VS. MURRAY: Tim Henman was a kind of grand middleweight, bravely lifting his game to play with the heavyweights such as Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic. The scion of a fine Oxfordshire middle-class family, he adeptly overachieved to become the focus of an obsessive nation. (Thus, Henman Hill). Watching Tim, giddy throngs were nervous and twitchy and infused with an uneasy sense of doom that somehow expressed Britain’s inferiority complex and/or love of losing. Andy Murray, from the get-go, was all nails. Shhh, we are not supposed to talk about it, but the guy did survive a mass murder in his grade school. His parents divorced, not so pleasantly. His mom, a fine player and coach, can be intense, and Murray went to Spain to train when he was a kid. No-nonsense. While Henman’s timid fist-pumps were derided for their lack of ferocity, Murray has worked relentlessly in the gym and famously flexed his biceps after a splendid winner. Most feel that when it comes to Grand Slams, unlike Henman, Murray will emerge a winner.

TENNIS TIP OF THE MONTH: Mark Hodgkinson suggested, “If you want to rejuvenate your professional tennis career, all you have to do is marry a swimsuit model, a girl straight from the beach-and-bikini pages of Sports Illustrated. It was Roddick’s wife, Brooklyn Decker, who urged the American to keep on playing.”

STAND BY YOUR MAN I: Roger Federer said his wife, Mirka, is “a very good person [who doesn’t go around and say] ‘Oh, I’m pregnant. Help me. I can’t make it around.’”

STAND BY YOUR MAN II: During his last season of travail and losses in ‘02, Pete Sampras got critical encouragement from his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson. Similarly, late last year when Andy Roddick wasn’t sure whether he wanted to go on, his future wife Brooklyn Decker, encouraged him to go for it. “Brook and I had a lot of talks where I definitely openly questioned it,” Andy confided. “So this off-season, we said, ‘You know what, if you’re not going to be up there, let’s at least not wonder. Let’s prepare yourself and give yourself every opportunity…[So] I did work real hard and was committed…to everything from diet to sleep.” Plus, Andy joked, “She said I looked cute in the shorts.”

A HIDDEN TREASURE: Wimbledon’s wondrous new subterranean Court Two is tucked away on the back side of the All England Club. Since nooks and crannies aren’t appreciated in modern tennis architecture, the low-profile arena is oval and symmetrical. It’s framed on a couple sides by trees (and is very much a Federer- and Murray-free zone.) Still, in its first year, Court Two hosted many a splendid match involving the Williams sisters and those loud Hewitt fanatics.

EVERYBODY BEATS ALEX BOGDANIVIC: Last year, reporters teased perennial British wildcard Alex Bogdanivic for losing seven straight first-round matches at Wimbledon, wryly noting that at least he was incredibly consistent. He lost all the time. This year, after yet another loss, the press elevated his losing tradition, noting that they were as much a part of the summer season as Ascot and Henley. Not mincing words, they asked him, “You have the worst record of any man here. How does that make you feel?”

BACK WHERE HE STARTED FROM: Nadal is back at No. 2, where he camped for 160 weeks.

NOT SO FAST: James Lawton wrote, “Minus the Williams sisters [Wimbledon] would be a travesty of a tournament.”

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT GREAT EURO STAR?: Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, Dane Caroline Wozniacki, Slovak Dominica Cibulkova, Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Frenchwoman Alize Cornet or Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.

BLUE DANUBE: Remember when Serbian tennis was rockin’ the house? Novak Djokovic had won the Aussie Open, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic both claimed No. 1 and Ivanovic was the French champ? But tennis can change fast. All three are now struggling big-time.

QUICK, WHERE’S MY DICTIONARY?: Serena used both the words “ameliorate” and “insatiable” in a press conference.

JUST WIN, BABY!: When Venus was asked if on-court femininity and grace were important to her, she said no way, she just wanted to win.

SERENA’S SECRET CHILDHOOD: After reflecting on the dominance of Eastern Euros, Serena said, “Everyone’s from Russia. Sometimes I think I’m from Russia, too — all these new ‘ovas.’ I don’t really recognize anyone. That’s just how it is.” A reporter then joked, “So, are you saying you came to Compton from Russia when you were seven years old? Serena quipped, “I think I’m [Russian], and I think my name must be Williamsova.”

FIRST MAN TO BLAST A BALL OFF OF WIMBLEDON’S ROOF: Andy Murray.

GRUMPY OLD TEENAGER: MurrayMania didn’t overtake every village and hamlet in the U.K. One caller to a radio station said Murray “has the personality of a stick and goes around like a tiger in a cage… He’s a grumpy old teenager.”

FAN LETTER OF THE MONTH: Queen Elizabeth wrote to Murray, congratulating him on his win at the Queens warm-up tournament.

AMERICAN KIDS IN LONDON:
U.S. juniors had some good results, especially on the boys’ side. Georgia’s Jordan Cox, who attends the Laurel Springs School in California, took a remarkable 6-3, 6-7(7), 16-14 victory over doubles partner Devin Britton, the NCAA champ from Ole Miss. Cox lost to Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in the final. Former junior standout Melanie Oudin of Georgia made some serious hay in the women’s draw, qualifying and besting former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic before falling in the fourth round.

THE MONO LOOK: Adidas’ players, with their identical look (i.e. same outfit, visor, shoes, coaches, blonde ponytail) were at times tough to distinguish.

Look Alike Ladies: It was hard to tell apart Team Adidas players like Sabine Lisicki and Caroline Wozniaki.
Look Alike Ladies: It was hard to tell apart Team Adidas players like Sabine Lisicki and Caroline Wozniaki.

STAT STUFF: Roddick said the key stats in tennis were first-serve percentage and second-serve points won and all the others were of little interest to him. Asked what was the most irrelevant stat, he replied percentage of correct Hawk-Eye challenges (especially since Federer has a wretched record in the category).

EASTBOURNE AGAIN: Ray Ratto put a damper on the U.S. soccer team’s stunning 2-0 upset of Spain in the Confederation Cup semis, saying, “The Confederation Cup is to the World Cup as Eastbourne is to Wimbledon.”

MAKEUP MATTERS: Many hope the Williamses and the Indian Wells tournament somehow kiss and make up. But Serena was talking about makeup in a far different manner. After reflecting on how little time she had to put her career in perspective, she said she rarely even looks at her trophies. “I use some of my trophies for makeup brushes, so maybe I’ll just take a step back and take all the makeup brushes out and really appreciate every title and every trophy.” Then when asked what trophy made the best makeup brush holder, she quipped, “My Indian Wells ‘03. Or was it ‘01? Whatever year that was.”

BEST COMEBACK OF THE FORTNIGHT (AND WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT RETURNS OF SERVES HERE): During a long, tedious joint press conference with Serena and Venus, Serena was asked, “Do you have anything you would like to ask one another as you’ve thought about the press conferences you have held during this fortnight?” Serena then turned to Venus and quipped: “Are you ready to get out of here?”

IRAN AND THE STRUGGLE FOR NORMALACY: When IT asked Iranian senior player/comic Mansour Bahrami about the recent unrest in his homeland, his response was cautionary. “Iran just wants normalcy,” he said. “I just hope they give the people freedom. People want freedom. They want a normal life just like everyone. They’re trying, but I can’t say much, unfortunately. I have my family back there.”

LET THE FUN BEGIN: From the get-go, the British press and their young stars have a curious co-dependence. So when star-in-the-making Laura Robson, 15, was asked, “Do you get much time to socialize, or can it be quite hard?” She shot back: “I socialize…What do you want me to say, I’ve got no friends?”

British Pressure, What Pressure: teen phenom Laura Robson and her phalanx of six security guards. (Art Seitz)
British Pressure, What Pressure: teen phenom Laura Robson and her phalanx of six security guards. (Art Seitz)

QUOTEBOOK:
• “I’m sorry.” — Andy Roddick to the British crowd after he beat the homestanding Scot
• “I think Roger’s hot. But he’s married.” — Serena Williams
• “It’s not tennis, it’s a different game.” — Mardy Fish on doubles
• “I’m putting in my earring and growing my hair.” — Bob Bryan on his preparations for a rock gig in a Wimbledon village pub
• “Belief.” — Federer on the one factor that he felt enabled him to pull out his miraculous come-from-behind win over Tommy Haas in Paris
• “Clearly, tears don’t mean what they used to mean in men’s tennis. Federer has generated a glut. Tears don’t end eras. Tears don’t separate the men from the boys…It’s going to be more interesting if he doesn’t cry.”
— Christopher Clarey
• “Where’s the slice?” — Billie Jean King after watching the power-blasting all-Williams final
• “I think people over here are beginning to cherish them, that wasn’t always the case.” — The BBC on the Williamses