Fantasy Tennis Is Here!

The French Open starts tomorrow, and you probably think you’ll be all maxed out on tennis for the next two weeks, what with playing tennis and watching tennis and voting on Fashion Face-offs. But this year, there’s even more excitement to be had, thanks to a new (and free) fantasy tennis league!

That’s right. Fantasy tennis! Why should football fans have all the fun?

Here’s how it works. You get a $100,000 salary cap to spend on an eight-player team. Obviously, a player like Rafa’s going to cost you more than, say, Sam Querrey. Since you have a salary cap, you can’t just pick the top eight players. You’re going to have to pick some Sam Querreys. Continue reading “Fantasy Tennis Is Here!”

On GOATs and STOATs

The Australian Open is officially underway, which means Fashion Face-offs are right around the corner. A concerned reader advised me to write a couple of “warm-up” posts before tackling the face-offs. I guess it’s been so long I might hurt myself. So here’s a nice, gentle stretch of a post to ease back into things…

Last night was kind of crazy, wasn’t it? The Super Bowl and the Australian Open starting at the same time. It was hard to know what to watch—there were a lot of GOAT storylines between those two events. Continue reading “On GOATs and STOATs”

The Fearlessness of Naomi Osaka

In Friday’s “worst dressed at the Open” post, I flippantly claimed credibility as an arbiter of tennis fashion. Of course, anyone who reads this blog knows I have little credibility in fashion, or anything else, for that matter.

One of our blog readers, however, does bring some serious cred to the topic of fashion: Robin Hauck, founder and editor of the sleek and chic Misstropolis magazine. Robin may well be the coolest person I know—so cool she once landed on the list of Most Stylish Bostonians in The Boston Globe.

According to Robin, I was wrong (!) to nominate Naomi Osaka in the worst-dressed poll. Normally I brook no dissent on my blog, but seeing as I’m still waiting for my own Most Stylish nomination, I decided to ask Robin to elaborate. Man, did she ever set me straight. Continue reading “The Fearlessness of Naomi Osaka”

Serena’s Slam Quest

“How’s that three-posts-a-month resolution coming?” snarked a so-called friend the other day. Okay, I’ve fallen a little short on that, but in my defense, coronavirus. I mean, how can I be expected to work under these conditions?

Fortunately, there are writers out there who are way more professional than I am, writers who wouldn’t let a global pandemic stand in the way of quality tennis prose. One such writer is Cecil Harris whose work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, and many other publications.

Cecil has just come out with his new book, Different Strokes: Serena, Venus, and the Unfinished Black Tennis Revolution. As you might surmise from the title, it’s about the Williams sisters and other black tennis players, the strides they’ve made, and how much farther there is to go to achieve true equality in the sport we love. Continue reading “Serena’s Slam Quest”

Are the French Weirdos? A Rigorous Analysis

During his first-round loss yesterday, Stefanos Tsitsipas took issue with some of the chair umpire’s rulings. In protesting his treatment, Tsitsipas spat, “You have something against me, I don’t know what — because you’re French, probably, and you’re all weirdos. You’re all weirdos!”

What a weird thing to say. As far as insults go, “weirdo” is just laughable. It’s like being called a poopy-head by a five-year-old.

Perhaps it’s the very weirdness of the insult that got me wondering: Are the French weirdos? Let’s get scientific about this and look at the top four French players. Continue reading “Are the French Weirdos? A Rigorous Analysis”

Throwing Your Boobs

Have we talked about obnoxious match celebrations before? I feel like we have, but I don’t want to scroll through my whole site to figure it out. Besides, we have new, fun material to talk about.

A number of weeks ago, everyone’s favorite love-to-hate player Nick Kyrgios threw some shade at a few of the game’s top stars. He called out Rafa Nadal for being “salty” and Fernando Verdasco for arrogance.

But he saved his best shade for Novak Djokovic:

“I just feel like he has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked. He just wants to be like Roger….This whole celebration thing that he does after matches, it’s like so cringeworthy. It’s very cringeworthy.”

Have you seen Djokovic’s celebratory ritual? I couldn’t help but laugh at Kyrgios’s characterization. Cringing describes my reaction perfectly.

And it’s not just me and Kyrgios. Djokovic’s ridiculous “I give you my heart” pantomime rubs other people the wrong way, too–so much so that someone coined a term for it: Boob throwing. Continue reading “Throwing Your Boobs”

The Underhand Serve: A Friday Poll

“Kyrgioser and kyrgioser!” cried Alice…

Another day, another Nick Kyrgios controversy. If he isn’t getting fined for lack of effort or for needling an opponent about his girlfriend’s sexual history, he’s hitting head-scratching and/or controversial shots.

In this case, the shot was a dinky underhand serve to Rafael Nadal, who famously stands practically in the bleachers when he receives. I watched the first set of this Mexican Open match and heard commentator Lindsay Davenport wonder why no one ever tries an underhand serve against Rafa. She then joked that if anyone would do it, Kyrgios would. Continue reading “The Underhand Serve: A Friday Poll”

The New York Open

This week and next, thousands of people will get to watch the Australian Open in person, and you won’t. Hardly seems fair, does it?

On the other hand, Australia’s really far, and I’m guessing decent seats are kind of pricey. Plus, from what I see on television, there are a lot of bugs. I hate bugs. Continue reading “The New York Open”

The Ranking System, and a Poll

Consider this scenario:

You and I are professional tennis players. (You like this scenario already, don’t you?) I’m the #1 ranked player in the world. You’re #2.

We both enter the Australian Open. You lose in round 2. I do better, eventually losing in the quarterfinals.

The tournament ends, and you become world #1.

Seems impossible, but it can happen, thanks to the sport’s quirky point system. Continue reading “The Ranking System, and a Poll”

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