A Sport for Rogues, Eccentrics and Non-Conformists

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A SPORT FOR ROGUES, ECCENTRICS AND NON-CONFORMISTS: San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins observed, “For a sport founded on upper-class convention, replete with 19th-century Londoners leaping across pristine lawns in long white pants, tennis has been molded by rogues, eccentrics and non-conformists. Its history would be as stodgy as four o’clock tea without its relentless plunges into the improbable.”

SHINO SPEAKS: Shino Tsurubuchi — the now reluctantly famous lineswoman who caught an earful (and then some) from Serena Williams at the U.S. Open —told Sports Illustrated that she made the right call and has no regrets.  “As umpires, if it’s a foot fault, we should call a foot fault,” said Tsurubuchi.  “But usually I am at the baseline and I wish — I pray — for players, ‘Please don’t touch that line!’ I don’t like to make that call because players are not happy. But if players touch the line, we have to make the call.”

GOT NEXT?: By reaching a career-high No. 280, 17-year-old American Ryan Harrison became the youngest player in the top 300.

A CONFIDENCE MAN: Asked if he thought Roger Federer had a shot at the calendar-year Grand Slam in 2010, Andy Roddick shot back, “If we’re talking about this year, I’m going to say no because that would really not show much confidence in myself.”

GIL THE MENTOR: If you’ve read Andre Agassi‘s tell-all bio “Open,” you know that Gil Reyes was more than just a weight-room presence for the Las Vegan.  He was a father figure.  Fernando Verdasco, who has been working with Reyes of late, clearly shares the same sentiment.  “Gil is more than a trainer,” said the Spaniard.  “He’s one of the most special people I’ve met in my life. We have an unbelievable relationship.  He treats me like his son.  He’s giving me all his experience, all the advice he can give me to make me the best player I can be.  He takes care more about trying to make me a good person than trying to make me a good tennis player.  That’s so important.  He’s just an unbelievable person, so special.”

‘HAAS’ HE PLAYED HIS LAST MATCH?: Tommy Haas reportedly will be sideline for up to six months after undergoing hip surgery in Vail, Colo.  But one has to wonder if we’ve seen the last of the 31-year-old altogether.  After all, hip ailments have been known to curtail the careers of elite players in the past (see Guga Kuerten).

SERB AND FOLLY: Did Jelena Jankovic really fall 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Monterrey Open to wildcard entrant Anastasija Sevastova?

DAVIS CUP DELAY: The start of the first-round Davis Cup tie between Chile and Israel will be delayed by one day due to transportation issues following the earthquake in Chile, although the venue in Coquimbo was not damaged.

THE NUMBERS

240: Hours of classes Serena Williams will take at the Palm Beach Nail School, where the world No. 1 plans to become a certified nail technician. (Said Serena on her website, “No one likes getting their nails done more than I do. As a matter of fact, I go every four days to get a manicure and every seven days for a pedicure. So, I had a brilliant idea to get certified to be a nail tech.”

QUOTEBOOK

“No team amassed records and a body of doubles work like Todd and Mark.  They were an amazing team in so many ways and we not only looked up to them, but we learned from them.  We feel fortunate to have been able to compete against them and we will always remember our matches with them.  We hope to be there in Newport to see them go in the Hall of Fame.” – Bob Bryan on The Woodies’ (Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde) induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame

“It is amazing. It was a pleasure to open a secondary school in Africa but two schools, is like WOW!” — Tweet from Serena Williams, who recently opened her second school near Nairobi

Rafael Nadal is right-handed. He grew up that way, doing right-handed things and hitting two-handed off both wings. That’s no way to take over a sport. That’s Jan-Michael Gambill, for heaven’s sake.” — Bruce Jenkins on the right-turned-lefty Mallorcan

I’m not the most graceful tennis player by a longshot.  I certainly work pretty hard for what I get.” — Andy Roddick

“Whether you love or loathe his brash attitude, self-promotion, ever-present sunglasses, permanent suntan and unique definition of ‘marriage’ (he has had eight wives), he is — objectively, without any rational argument to the contrary — one of the two or three most important coaches the sport has ever known, right up there with Harry Hopman.” — Tom Perrotta on Nick Bollettieri, who was snubbed by the International Tennis Hall of Fame

“I miss football, can’t wait for the season to start up again.” — Miami Dolphins co-owner Venus Williams via Twitter