IF HE’S PLAYSTATION, THEN WHO’S PONG?: Juan Martin Del Potro said Nikolay Davydenko — who handed him a 6-3, 6-4 loss at the ATP World Tour Finals — “plays like PlayStation. He runs to everywhere.” Added the Argentine, “He beat me in [a] good way.” Is there such a thing?
SIGNATURE STATEMENT: Asked how many times he was pestered for his autograph during his victorious run at the ATP World Tour Finals title, Davydenko said, “Hmm, not once.”
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS JUST YET: The Tiger Woods‘ bashing apparently knows no bounds, and now has even crossed into the tennis world. San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Don Asmussen recently depicted Woods with an Andre Agassi ‘Image Is Everything’ hairdo under the headline: “Contrite Tiger Woods Cites Transgressions, Admits ’90s Mohawk Mullet Was Fake: Golf, Hair Fans Stunned As The Lies Pile Up”
EXCHANGE OF THE MONTH:
REPORTER: “Sleeping alone?”
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: “Come on. I have wife. Come on, come on. What do you want, two girls, three girls, four girls?”
REPORTER: “You are a Russian.”
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: “I am Russian, but I’m not [Marat] Safin.”
WRIST-SLAP, ANYONE?: The record $82,500 fine handed to Serena Williams by the ITF for her U.S. Open meltdown represents just 1/345 of her career on-court earnings.
FED OVERLOOKED ONCE AGAIN: S.L. Price made a case for Roger Federer being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, saying that in ’09 the Swiss “became the greatest. He was down and then he rose, perhaps for the final time, and he beat back the field and walked into history.” Of course, Roger was snubbed again. The winner: N.Y. Yankee Derek Jeter.
SEARS AND ROBOT: Andy Murray and girlfriend Kim Sears have reportedly ended their four-year relationship.
TO EACH HIS/HER OWN: Bethanie Mattek-Sands says her hunter husband named the couple’s dog, a Boerboel Mastiff, Ruger, after his rifle, a Ruger Magnum.
GA-GA FOR GUGA: Three-time French Open titlist Guga Kuerten will receive the Cruz do Mérito Desportivo (Brazil’s most prestigious athletic honor) from Brazilian President Lula Da Silva in a Dec. 9 ceremony.
1-12: Davydenko’s record against Roger Federer after his 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win over the Swiss in London.
$9,000: Raised by Michael Chang and Filipino-American Cecil Mamiit for victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.
“Anyone curious how Thanksgiving played out at the Agassi household? ‘Pops, if I apologized for depicting you as the devil incarnate to an international audience, would you pass the yams?'” — Jon Wertheim
“I dreamed of this career. I dreamed of winning a Grand Slam title. I lifted trophies in every city in the world and I lived 10 magical and unbelievable years.” — 30-year-old Amelie Mauresmo, who announced her retirement on Dec. 3
“The lucky ones who got to watch her play week after week simply marveled at her game, with all its fragility. It almost made an Englishman weep to see how difficult she found walking out to play at Roland Garros, how her nerves were shredded, how petrified she was to face a French crowd in full flow.” — Neil Harman on Mauresmo
“Besides having a beautiful, flowing game-style on the court, she was an athlete who was just as beautiful away from it.” — Tom Tebbutt on Mauresmo
“To put [$82,500] into tennis’s swear-box will hardly trouble a multi-millionaire.” — Mark Hodgkinson on Serena Williams‘ U.S. Open fine
“Sometimes at some tournaments they don’t treat qualifiers like, I don’t know…like tennis players.” — No. 77-ranked Peter Luczak of Australia
“I don’t act 37.” — Doubles specialist Daniel Nestor on his tennis-advanced age