By Bill Simons
(A LOT OF) LOVE AND (A LITTLE) HATE IN ANDY’S WORLD: Elated and sporting a kilt, Scot Andy Murray wed Kim Sears—his longtime English girlfriend and sometimes saucy cheerleader—in a ceremony at a 12th-century cathedral in his hometown. Throngs lined Dunblane’s streets, but few tennis players—just Tim Henman, Ross Hutchins, and Murray’s brother, Jamie—were on hand. As wonderful as the wedding was, Novak Djokovic joked he would not trade one of his recent wins over Murray for a wedding invitation. When the groom himself was asked how how his big day went, he responded with his typical elegance: “Well, alright. Thanks.” In contrast to all this off-court bliss, Murray soon got into an on-court controversy, when Lukas Rosol bumped into him during a changeover in Munich. Murray told Rosol, “No one likes you on the tour. Everyone hates you.” But newly-married Murray’s clay fortunes trended decidedly upward in Madrid, where he straight-setted Rafa Nadal in the final.
PREGNANT PAUSES: Andy Roddick‘s wife Brooklyn Decker is pregnant with their first child … Amelie Mauresmo is scheduled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 18th. But she is due with child in August. So will she show up for the induction ceremony?
A TENABLE QUESTION: After the quixotic Fabio Fognini upset Nadal in Barcelona, Mary Carillo asked, “Is he top-tenable or not very top-tenable?”
OF GIGGLES, GIRLS AND THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF SAD FRENCH MOVIES: A joint video interview with Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic in Charleston turned into a gal pal gabfest in which Jelena proudly announced she was getting into all those new fat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free diets, before admitting, “Free stuff, I still eat it.”
Petkovic insisted she didn’t have any New Year’s resolutions, “but they are working really well so far.” She also said that after big wins or losses, she’ll lock herself in her room and watch “really sad French movies and cry myself to sleep. But [then again] I do that every night.” After many other giggles, Petkovic joked, “No one will take us seriously any more.”
BATTLE OF THE NICKNAMES: Tennis has savored many a delightful child-like nickname. Helen Wills-Moody Roark was “Little Miss Poker Face.” Maureen Connolly was “Little Mo,” and now Grigor Dimitrov is “Baby Federer.” But the NBA does better. The Golden State Warriors feature Steph “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Curry and the LA Clippers have Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
THE FUTURE OF VENUS AT INDIAN WELLS? Venus Williams said her sister Serena‘s long-awaited return to Indian Wells “was wonderful,” but added, “Next year … I can’t exactly say what my schedule will be.”
Did that imply she had softened her own stance? “Oh, yeah, absolutely. I have heard so much about how much the tournament has just improved … So it will be something to see … I’m the big sister … [But] she took the role of big sister … I love how we continue to protect each other … She did a fantastic job … So, I don’t know what tournaments I’m going to play as long as I’m at the Olympics. That’s my goal, to be healthy enough … It would be awesome to return … [but] it’s going to be all around [the Rio 2016 Olympics].”
• There’s always a little irony when Virginia Ruzici sits down court-side to watch world No. 2 Simona Halep take on Venus or Serena Williams like she did (against Serena) in the Miami Open semis. Decades ago, when Ruzici, who now manages Halep, won a $40,000 tournament, Richard Williams had one of the great “Eureka!” moments in sports, beginning a then-improbable quest to turn two daughters into wealthy tennis champions.
• Novak Djokovic adores kids, so it was hardly surprising that in Miami he tweeted, “Betta make some kids smile today! They love it & do it more than 300x a day.” But later that week, in the heat of battle during a changeover, he inadvertently scared the wits out of a ball-boy—the irate Serb grabbed a towel from the kid while shouting at his coaches. The boy was stunned, but recovered quickly.
HINGIS’S HOT YEAR: In her day, Martina Navratilova hesitated a long time before retiring. She won the US Open mixed doubles title when she was almost 50. Amazing! The other Martina— Hingis, that is—is sort of doing the same. This year in doubles, she’s on an incredible roll. Almost twenty years after her first Grand Slam, and almost a decade since her most recent Slam win, Hingis won a major in January when she teamed up with Leander Paes to take the Aussie Open mixed crown. In women’s doubles, the 34-year-old, who is now ranked No. 4, won in Brisbane with Sabine Lisicki, and in Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston with Sania Mirza.