Dec/19

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Our Media Confrontations With Players

Confrontations between tennis pros and media like the recent Nadal vs Ubi tiff in Paris happen infrequently but they do happen.

In an email discussion between myself, Dan and veteran scribe Richard Pagliaro and former tennis writer Dan Weil, we remembered a few chilly and heated moments with tennis players and also fellow reporters.

Pagliaro recalled to Dan:   Actually, I believe you had two run-ins with Roddick.   One was Indian Wells.    The other was at US Open when you were writing a piece for Tennis Magazine on how marriage impacts players.   I was working for Tennis Mag at the time and sitting next to you in interview room one after Roddick lost to Tipsarevic with the infamous foot-fault call.  And you asked him the marriage question.

 
Q. You’re a married man now. Do you feel you kind of curtail your anger when you have situations like this and maybe not go off into a real boil? Is it different now that you’re married in these situations where you feel you have to be more respectable on the court?
ANDY RODDICK: You thought I was respectable tonight?

Q. Could have taken it to Johnny Mac levels.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I could have. And the fact that I didn’t is because I’m married? That’s the thought process we’re going to go with?
No, I think that’s — no. We got to find another avenue for a story, I think.

I remember Roddick actually returned to your marriage theme in his final answer:

Q. Do you feel like you were aggressive in tonight’s match?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, yeah. A little tough to be aggressive when a guy is hitting every ball as hard as he can. I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty firm.
I think I wasn’t aggressive because I got married.


The Agassi run-in was probably more intense. I was thinking about another Agassi run-in you had when Agassi mocked Chang’s cheapness making a remark to the effect that Why is Chang so cheap? His arms are too short to reach into his pockets.

When Agassi saw you noting his Chang cheap shot he was incensed.
What about the time you taunted James Blake for “working with a cookbook writer” for his memoir and “JamesHimself” famously replied directly on the old TennisWeek.com board? 

You actually had run-ins with most of the US Davis Cup team – Roddick, Fish, JamesHimself – yet oddly you never had a dispute with Bryan Bros.

You left out the time when you drilled Connors in a pro-am doubles and Connors replied “you’re gonna pay for that.”  Jimbo did not appreciate the body blow.


Dan replied: Rich. You missed a few and the incident with Roddick occurred not over marriage–can’t remember that one–but at Indy Wells, when I asked Roddick why people found his game boring and he said people find Shaq’s game boring too and he didn’t care. And you forgot actually the biggest one of all, with Agassi at New Haven, when in the middle of a presser, he started yelling at me with his high-pitched girlie yell because I asked him an innocent question, phrased wrong I must admit, “How good a loser are you? and Agassi screamed, “I’m not a loser. You’re a loser!” Oh well, that was before Andre became enlightened and OPEN. 


I’ve had mostly very good relations with 98% of the players but I can think of a few testy moment. For some reason Marinko Matosevic became a prick to me. We did a Biofile in Newport at the hard courts across the street and he was a great guy, super Biofile. Super nice guy, enjoyed doing the Biofile. Then I remember a few years after it I could sense he had it in for me for some inexplicable reason. I don’t remember ever bothering him or asking for an interview after. But one day at US Open as we waited to enter the press center entrance showing our credentials, he kind of bumped his bag into me on purpose. We walked by each other a few times and I actually felt by a look he gave me we might fight someday. Yet I have no idea why. Bizarre.

Marcos Baghdatis got hot on me and the ATP media guy in Washington DC at Citi Open two years ago. I wanted to do a Biofile at night after his win. It was set up and at the media zone I started asking Biofile questions and he suddenly resisted, barking at the ATP guy about he only expected to talk about the match. It was almost to the point of abusive. Very uncharacteristic to see Bag act like that and vent on the poor guy. I somehow managed to convince him to do the Biofile anyway, just a few minutes and then he gave me an absolutely superb Biofile! Definitely a weird moment how it was reversed from a tense, negative situation into a classic Biofile.

I had a clash with Agassi. In the mid 90s when Agassi was at the height of his rebel fame, at US Open I approached him spontaneously in the old locker room to do a Biofile. He had seen and heard me do one with Stefan Edberg a day or two before but he wanted nothing to do with it, barking at me about media not being allowed in the locker room, etc. His whole team, Gilbert, Juliani, Reyes were with him looking at me, as he did. I just said something about the media credential does allow us into the locker room and walked away.

Another time around this same era, I asked Boris Becker to do a Biofile on the steps going to the old locker room and he replied, “I’m already famous enough.”

Of course my latest clash was with Marcelo Rios at Eddie Herr last year. He was practicing for his exhibition with Lapentti. When he realized who I was while we were chatting on breaks, he contradicted what he told me seven years earlier about my book about him. At the ATP No. 1 Gala in NYC Rios said “there were some things in the book that weren’t true but it was pretty good, pretty good.”

Last year he changed his opinion, saying I should not have written the book because “if you write a book about someone you should know the person.”

I replied that a writer is like an artist, he can paint anyone or anything he wants. Needless to say, the hard-headed Rios did not appreciate my point of view and we are still at odds and probably always will be.

Another time I approached Dmitri Tursunov about Facing Nadal while he was hitting with a female player, but he thought I might hit him with gambling questions and brought me over to Greg Sharko to make sure I was legit – it was before the tournament started and I was dressed casually. After a delay, Tursunov eventually opened up and shared some great memories of Facing Nadal.

That’s all I can think of as far as awkward or uncooperative moments with players.

99 comments

  • Jon King · December 4, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    What I believe Hartt might be saying is that Novak looks like a male version of the villain from 101 Dalmatians.

  • Andrew Miller · December 4, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    It’s interesting to hear about the player takes. Some of them appear to want to leave an impression or a legacy, and others who knows. I know players care, but it’s interesting to see how the post gets at why they care and also how tennis writers get through to the players. You seem to have to work pretty hard for this. No surprise that as the information on players proliferates the quality of that info goes down or pieces that try to make sense of it hardly exist. They require writers with some time to push pretty hard generally. As Bodo says he liked Roddick because at least Roddick would show that he cares, even if some of his responses sometimes were bizarre.

    Matt Cronin had a nice rapport with Hantuchova I think as well. He had to work very hard to get his stories. I am glad he’s out there reporting following his illness. I used to read his website pretty often.

  • Andrew Miller · December 4, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Djokovic does look like Cruel-a Deville for sure. I’m still amazed Djokovic has been able to win so much and pass the Sampras record while being in good position for the all time records. I’m not sure if he coasted off his talent – he worked hard a long time ago with many development coaches, so his game is always going to be pretty steady.

    I’m beginning to truly question tennis development in the states, mostly because beyond Serena Williams and her sister Venus, both products of the early 1990s, we have had a slam champ on the women’s side in Sloane Stephens but no one else! Maybe women’s tennis in the US is in the doldrums also. That’s even considering the great efforts of Keys and Kenin.

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Andrew, what we see in US girl’s development is that the emphasis is on winning, rankings, traveling earlier and earlier. Its hard to develop an overall game and take risks developing variety under the pressure of a match when feel you have to win as much as possible at age 12.

    Just based on sheer volume, the US will always have plenty of top 200 players on the women’s side. But it really is just the byproduct of having so many thousands of girls in the system rather than being the product of a great developmental system.

  • Hartt · December 5, 2019 at 5:19 am

    I wonder if we should base a country’s tennis success so much on number of Slams won. Looking at the top 20 WTA rankings, the US has 4 women, the highest number, followed by the Czech Republic with 3 and then Croatia with 2. What is striking is the variety of countries represented.

    We celebrate winning a Slam because it is so tough to do, so it’s not surprising there aren’t many Slam winners from any one country.

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 7:29 am

    I remember an article somewhere that listed total population compared to number of top 200 players, top 100 players, top 20 players, etc. By that gauge, its pretty amazing that vastly smaller countries produce a lot of top players.

    In Hartt’s top 20 example, US population 330 million, Czech 10.5 million, Croatia 4 million.

    I think the days of players with lots of Slams is over. Once the Williams sisters and Pova retire, we may not see another active player with more than 2-3-4 total slams again.

  • Andrew Miller · December 5, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Jon, maybe you’re right, that we emphasize the wrong things in the states. Maybe also the athletes that become pro tennis players aren’t the ones that may want to become pro tennis players. It would be interesting to see what the media is like in Czech Republic for example, or how players find tennis. In Serbia, Djokovic’s dad was a skier, so there was some interest in athletics. Sampras family all played tennis, so maybe being in California it was cultural – the sport was readily accessible and the whole family played so Sampras had hitting partners or at least examples around him that told him he was doing the right thing by finding something in the sport.

    Probably the most upsetting thing to me is the lower popularity overall of tennis. I remember tennis being a big deal, and not because it was expensive because we had cheap racquets available at Kmart I think (the Jay Berger Prince Pro racquets, aluminium!). But kids played and because they played, we played. No big deal.

    With so many kids playing, a number played very well, and they were good athletes that hit a fine ball. Of all of them a few could go pro at the challenger level – mostly because they had resources but they were also excellent athletes. Of the girls, it was more rare to have a high calibre player. I don’t know why that was where we were – maybe what was emphasized. In soccer the female athletes would go after each other mercilessly. If that approach had been for tennis I’m sure the better athletes would have taken up the game.

    We’re talking a hot bed of tennis too. Maybe because the girls didn’t see other girls playing. My “day” at Macci’s didn’t convince me otherwise either, the parents speaking of their kids didn’t seem to grasp that the Williams girls were many, many, many, many light years ahead of their kids. It was so blatantly obvious that they were, and maybe they were jealous of them or concerned they were spending so much money out of pocket while their kids weren’t that much closer to a college scholarship anywhere.

    Jon where are, not Boca? If Boca maybe look up Reed Rafter at St. Andrews. He’s a good guy.

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Andrew, we are actually in Palm Beach Gardens now, used to be down in Boca. Practiced Monday next to Venus, she was cracking some serves like the old days. Her coach and hitting partner Eric Hechtman is one heck of a player. They had some epic rallies.

  • catherine · December 5, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Andrew – re the Czech R – tennis is everywhere there and a long history of the game and many idols to follow. The Sparta Club in Prague is where everyone trained, an historic site. Drobny won Wimbledon representing Egypt but he was still a Czech.

  • catherine · December 5, 2019 at 8:35 am

    New WTA tournament in Adelaide, don’t know if it coincides with the men – I think Djokovic is playing.

    Angie has entered, together with the usual suspects. Adelaide isn’t my favourite city in Oz but good to see the tournament back there again although the reason is demise of the H.Cup.

  • catherine · December 5, 2019 at 9:03 am

    No use looking on the WTA site for entry lists for upcoming tournaments and other useful information – you won’t find it. Not unless Gauff is playing.

  • Andrew Miller · December 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Jon, yes, the Williams have a home around there! I am sure Venus was cracking serves, she’s an amazing player and has been for decades πŸ™‚

    PBG has some good courts. I hope there’s still a lot of players on the public courts. There had been so many. PBC is a funny place. It will have some of the best players I’ve ever seen, no national ranking and hardly a state/FTA ranking (if they still have those), but they don’t see themselves that way. Then develop other interests.

    We played with so many coaches. Surprising even for Florida, many coaches did not have any approach for matches and generally underestimated the preparation of the competition. Maybe all that has changed as you wrote about an arms race at the junior level (which sounds miserable).

    Toughest place for us to play was always Miami. We never played tournaments in north of state. Only from Melbourne FL down to Miami. Melbourne had good draws. Patch Reef sometimes had great draws – Spadea and a guy Scoop knows named Hugo Armando was sometimes in those draws (Spadea played up in 18s maybe at 14? Armando played up one division I think too).

    Amazing to me that sometimes the top five guys in the state weren’t as good as I thought they’d be. Maybe played for the ranking – ultimately didn’t land at at amazing college program either πŸ™

    Best junior girl I ever saw play, bigger game than the Spadea girls (more complete game than Capriati), and this is setting aside the Williams because they are definitely the best young female players I’ll ever see in person, was a fourteen year old that eventually played in the ACC. She played “like a guy”, big lefty hooking serve, somewhat like Feliciano Lopez. She could drive the ball, had excellent court sense, nice touch off the volley, sweet topspin lob (the topspin lob was huge for us back then, if you had a good one you used it!). My sister would say she plays like a boy! She won some big 12s titles.

    Ultimately she peaked her first year of college, then fell to injuries. Had some big wins at the college level and did well in ACC in her early years. Goes to show, who strikes first doesn’t strike last!

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Andrew, it is a fun place to play tennis. At the park right next to our house there are 4 isolated hard tennis courts. Almost no general public plays there, they play at the Har Tru tennis center in town for the most part.

    So these courts are nice and private. In the past year or so Serena, Venus, Opelka, Lauren Davis, Jay Berger, Cori Gauff have all shown up at various times to hit there.

    We have played some tournaments at St. Andrews. Amazing school and facilities.

  • catherine · December 5, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Talking of Venus – she takes a WC into Adelaide WTA which is a Premier event with a good draw, Barty, Halep etc. Looks like Venus is serious about 2020 and maybe Olympics.

    Djokovic, de Minaur and FAA are top in the mens’ side.

  • Andrew Miller · December 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Jon, Scoop, if you’d like an interesting perspective Reed Rafter at St. Andrews in Boca is a good guy. He played on tour before his sponsor died in a freak accident, which grounded him. Hits every shot out there. Again there are so many like him out there and especially in South Florida, superb players grounded for one reason or another that have left their mark on tennis in other ways (Mr. Rafter is the coach of the St. Andrews HS tennis squad).

  • Hartt · December 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Speaking of the draw for a WTA tourney, ubitennis.net has a piece on the upcoming Shenzhen tourney.

    “Bencic will return to Shenzhen to play in the tournament, which is traditionally held in the first week of January.

    The 22-year-old player will take on world number 11 Aryna Sabalenka, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, 2017 Shenzhen champion Ekaterina Siniakova, world number 17 Elise Mertens, US Open quarter finalist Wang Qiang, Wimbledon quarter finalist Zhang Shuai, San JosΓ© champion Zhang Saisai, Acapulco champion Wang Yafan and 2014 Shenzhen finalist Peng Shuai. The line up is completed by 20-year-old player Elena Rybakina, who won the Bucharest and improved her ranking from world number 131 to world number 37.”

  • Hartt · December 5, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Catherine, the promotion for the Citi Open, which is months away, has “Coco’s Back!”

  • catherine · December 5, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Of course that refers to Bianca’s dog πŸ™‚

  • Hartt · December 5, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    I just finished listening to the David Law interview with Larry Stefanki a second time. From what Law said, it must have been done shortly before this year’s USO.

    David asked Larry what assignment would bring him back, and he said that he likes a lot of what he sees on the women’s side. He mentioned Kerber in particular, saying she won Eastbourne the same year Andy Roddick won it. He said she is a great athlete and a great competitor, without all the hoopla. He did not understand why she was doing so poorly this season.

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Yes, Venus is serious about 2020. We had a great time today. Venus, her father, and her coach on one court, my daughter and I on the next court. About 100 kids in town from various countries for the Little Mo International tennis tournament kept gathering at the fence and watching.

    Venus did a ton of work on her serve, hitting the shortest angle wide serves I have seen. She did a lot of approach work, looks like more serve and volley for 2020.

    Just a fun day all around, it was cool for us to have Venus hitting serves on one court and her dad picking up balls with a tube just like he did 40 years ago…and my daughter hitting serves on the next court, with me picking up balls with a tube!

  • Jon King · December 5, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    30 years ago, not 40…Venus is not that old yet! Andrew, several of my daughters friends play for St. Andrews. They won a title last year in high school tennis.

  • catherine · December 6, 2019 at 1:09 am

    I wonder how many kids playing the Little Mo know who she was ? Or many other people around the event ? Used to be a M Connelly Invitational, GB v USA junior tournament years ago but I think it was abandoned, like the Wightman Cup, too one-sided.

    Interesting comments on Venus – let’s hope some players are reading T-P πŸ™‚ Venus should always have done more serve/volley – and influenced other girls too in that way.

    The ship’s sailed on Stefanki/Kerber I’m afraid. But any coach who can get at what’s going on in her head will, or would have, got the best from her. I like ‘without all the hoopla’. Angie just can’t maintain a high level or move up from strong performances and seems to hit a mental block when she tries to do so. Hence the desperate coach switching. But the ability’s there.

  • Hartt · December 6, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Stefanki, in that interview, said he is coaching 3 junior girls. He is very impressed with them, saying something like they would run through a wall for him.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 6, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Speaking of Hazel Wightman, I played pickleball last night with a woman who used to take lessons from Hazel Wightman up in New England.

  • Jon King · December 6, 2019 at 7:53 am

    catherine, its hilarious you asked how many knew Venus! This was a huge group of kids that arrived together on buses the day before the Little Mo matches start. They had several coaches and parents there who put them through some drills on the basketball courts at the park and then they played some informal soccer games on a field right next to the tennis courts.

    Not one kid noticed Venus at first. In fact the kids that did watch in spurts at first were watching my daughter instead, I suppose since they were closer in age and tennis girls seem to all want to check out the other tennis girls. Also, Venus wears sweat pants and a sweat shirt and looks nothing in practice as she does in her match outfits.

    Then I heard one of their coaches say “these kids are playing right behind Venus Williams and they have no idea who she is”. Then some parents started watching and gradually the kids did too. A few of the older girls knew her, but most of the kids watched because the heard she was someone famous. She makes her loud sound on every shot or serve in practice so that also attracts attention. Its funny because practicing next to her sounds exactly like when you watched her on TV!

    The her father got tired and wanted to leave early. He tried to walk through the huge group and several parents were coming up and asking him questions. His health is not the best since he has a stroke in the past. Poor guy had to make it through a gauntlet of kids and parents to get to the parking lot.

  • catherine · December 6, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Jon – I meant how many would know who Little Mo was !

    I imagined that Venus isn’t exactly anonymous in your part of the world So it’s interesting to hear that in fact a lot of the kids didn’t recognise her.

  • catherine · December 6, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Scoop – fascinating snippet about H Wightman. When she set up the W Cup she envisaged it becoming equivalent to the Davis Cup but for all sorts of reasons of course that didn’t happen, which is a pity in a way.

  • Jon King · December 6, 2019 at 8:40 am

    catherine, oh true, kids would not know who Maureen was. These kids were not local. They were a group from various parts of the country that met up to drill. About 20 of them were from France. Before the Little Mo starts they have a parade of countries where the kids march in behind a banner with the name of their nation. You have kids from all around the world come. The money spent on kids tennis, even at these young ages, is mind boggling.

  • Hartt · December 6, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Caroline Wozniacki has announced she will retire, apparently following the 2020 AO.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 6, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Catherine, she said Hazel Wightman taught tennis into her 80s, up to 84. She had a garage with a half court and she used to coach in there when it rained. She also had a house full of cats. One of those old big New England style homes.

  • catherine · December 6, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Hartt – not entirely surprising. I think Caro’s done well to stay around as long as she has, what with injuries and arthritis.

    Clutch of retirements recently. Anna-Lena Groenefeld also leaving the scene – good doubles player but never really made it in singles for Germany. Petko hasn’t mentioned retiring but I’d give her maybe one more year.

  • Hartt · December 6, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Woz said she is anxious to have time for other things, and she and her husband want to start a family.

    “And Wozniacki, who made it to the semi-finals of the China Open in October, says she wants go out before playing becomes stale.

    β€œI wanted to finish playing when I still had this love for the game,” she says. β€œI love to be out there. I can beat the best players in the world when I play my best, and that’s how I wanted to finish.” (yahoo.com)

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Wow, Wozniacki retires. Guess should have seen it coming with the executive education classes at Harvard Business School. Well Woz…you were…not Clijsters but still good. Will go down on history as one of Serena’s party friends!

  • catherine · December 6, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Haven’t heard much more about Clijsters’ comeback. Maybe she’s had second thoughts. She’s too injury prone for re-entering the arena at her age, IMO.

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Clijsters: a comeback so her kids watch her play. Unless something we don’t know, that’s the reason, bored parent that wants to set an example for the kids πŸ™‚

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Clearly: Wozniacki retiring makes it plain she doesn’t believe she can win big again. Age 29 is old in tennis for another era, not this one. And it’s also a hat tip for the next group of players saying the WTA is too competitive for me now.

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    re Venus Williams. The more I look at it, more I believe Richard Williams. He did something more important than coach his daughters, he paired them with good training such as the part time coach they had in Compton, who was himself an excellent tennis player. Did he play off people? Yes. Was he the most forthright guy? NO. Did he tell tall tales? Yes.

    But did he and Oracene Williams, their mother, know what they had to do to get their kids better training?

    Absolutely.

    And what of the grumbling parents paying loads of money at Macci’s with lackluster results and Macci knowing their names not their games?

    Jokes on them. They put up the big bucks but you can’t pay your way to slam glory. Motivation is a funny thing and drive is too. You give others same strokes and they won’t do as well, because the Williams girls were trained for shattering records. Just like Djokovic or Agassi the freak show. Or Sampras.

    Venus in documentary said her dad kind of brainwashed them. But can anyone dispute what it did for the sport? Turning convention upside down? With no peers at all, outlasting Capriati and Co. and so many many more?

  • Hartt · December 6, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    I wonder if the main reason Caroline retired was one reason she gave, she wants to start a family. It seems to me that way back in 2014, when she was engaged to Rory McIlroy, that she speculated about how much longer she would compete because she was interested in having a family.

  • Andrew Miller · December 6, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Probably. Wozniacki basically said: she’s tired of the tour. Traveling for better part of fourteen years straight. Won a good amount of matches.

    Wozniacki had a very good, even excellent career, but I hesitate to call it “very fine” or “inspiring” – I think that wouldn’t be fair to Wozniacki. Collected her one slam a la Pennetta and Myskina. Goes down in record books as Denmark’s best player and I guess another in the pride of Poland outside of Poland!

    I caught a Woz match. Can’t say it was a bundle of fun. She hit a steady stream of moonballs – she had some good shots that players should have.

    A good match is an up tempo player vs the Woz, because otherwise you may fall asleep. We left the match. Stosur found her groove and Woz found a way to leave the match.

  • Jon King · December 6, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Clijsters hurt her knee so the comeback is on hold.

    Andrew, Rick Macci is still mad at Richard Williams. He said he was promised this or that instead of payment as he trained them. But Macci still uses the Williams sisters as his marketing tool to this day so he made out just fine.

  • Hartt · December 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Generally, I was not a fan of Wozniacki’s defensive style of play, but sometimes she would be a bit more aggressive than usual and I enjoyed those matches.

  • Sherry · December 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    It’s too bad that Wozniacki couldn’t win 1 more major title, although I guess she does have 1 more chance. I wonder if she will be in the HoF. Her credentials are very similar to those of Gabriela Sabatini, another beautiful player who was also apparently a nice person. Both won 1 major title and were in 2 major finals. Gabriela won a Wimbledon doubles championship, but she was never number 1 as Caroline was. Both won the year-end championship (or Virginia Slims back in Gabriela’s day). And both had to contend with all-time greats in Steffi Graf and Serena Williams.

  • catherine · December 7, 2019 at 1:05 am

    Sherry- yes, Woz does resemble Sabatini a bit, although Gabriela retired much younger, mainly because she disliked the spotlight (something you couldn’t say about Caroline) and the lifestyle and didn’t see herself improving much as a player. And as you say she always had Steffi ahead of her. They had some great contests, particularly the VS final in ’88 (I think).

    Gabriela still is a nice person – she’s never had a family but does a lot of charity work and received an award for that this year. She’s a friend of Federer’s and has a house in Switzerland near his.

  • catherine · December 7, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Unusually, we haven’t seen a shower of Twitter comments from fellow players on Caroline’s retirement. Maybe they can’t be bothered to do that anymore. Or etiquette’s changed.

  • catherine · December 7, 2019 at 5:28 am

    My apologies to Woz – there were many messages to her but the usual online sites didn’t quote them. Or hadn’t when I looked.

  • catherine · December 7, 2019 at 5:43 am

    Schedules -Bianca A will be playing in Hawaii before she proceeds to Auckland and then on to Melbourne. I don’t know much about the Hawaii event – not sure if it is an exho or a week long tournament. Coco V played last year but there was no regular coverage.

  • Andrew Miller · December 7, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Maybe players just text Wozniacki directly or call her. Not as if we the public need to know…we know about a percent of every player’s life. Social media isn’t reality πŸ™‚

  • catherine · December 7, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Yes, I’m sure Caro’s friends knew about her decision anyway so didn’t need to make a public comment. I’m not being too serious – some sites like to fill up available space with endless lists of tweets which I find extremely tedious and don’t read.

    You can be sure 99% of ‘reality’ as you say, isn’t recorded on social media. Must be frustrating for the more demented kind of fan. I often wonder if players read all the comments on their Twitter and IGs – probably not, because someone in their team has that job.

  • Andrew Miller · December 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Some websites are searching for content because they are so unoriginal and lazy. I apologize for being so blunt. Some social media leads to actual stories, such as Kyrgios going after people (which is bad on his part) or fans sending hideous messages to players like Donald Young (yes, a very small number of people sent the worst messages to Donald Young, total bile and this was years before the ridiculous incident with Ryan Harrison, which ruined both of them over the past year or more). Totally unrepeatable things that were akin to me saying the worst things possible about anyone on this site (I try to be even but admit Jackson brings out the worst in me with the Nadal fact checking, sorry Jackson).

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