Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roger Federer blast from the past Hopman Cup with wife Mirka

Awww, you can already feel the love between those two ♥♥.  Roger was so adorkable in the early days.

Poor Mirka, yep no one could compare to Hingis when it came to doubles (or singles for that matter).

This is actually one of the few times I've heard her speak it's a real rarity since usually most of the talking is done by Roger.

Monday, November 29, 2010

R.I.P Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen, who dazzled with deadpan in The Naked Gun and Airplane!, passed away on Sunday at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was being treated for pneumonia, according to the New York Times. He was 84.

The master of parody boasted a talent for delivering the most ridiculous lines in the straightest way possible, cloaking outright absurdity in straight-faced obliviousness. 

Ironically enough, the foundation of that earnest gravitas was built early in his career as a dramatic actor: After serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force and studying at New York City’s famed Actors Studio, the Saskatchewan-born Nielsen popped up on early ’50s TV. He received his first big film break playing sturdy Commander J.J. Adams in the 1956 sci-fi flick Forbidden Planet

Over the next few decades, he established himself as a reliable, handsome, rich-voiced character actor who graced myriad TV dramas (Peyton Place, Dr. Kildare) and movies (The Poseidon Adventure).

His career took a comical hard left turn when he was cast as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 big-screen parody film Airplane! (Let us honor his famous line, which stands as one of the best retorts in comedic cinema history: “Surely you can’t be serious!” “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”) Two years later he was tapped by the Airplane! brain trust to play Lt. Frank Drebin in the cop-show spoof sitcom Police Squad! Although the series lasted only six episodes, Nielsen earned an Emmy nomination for his work, and in 1988, re-inhabited the bumbling Drebin again for the big-screen adaptation The Naked Gun. (It may be hard to find more laughs-per-minute in a comedy film than in the film’s baseball-game scene, which culminates with Drebin foiling an assassination attempt on the Queen of England). 

The success of The Naked Gun paved the way for two sequels in 1991 and 1994, and Nielsen continued down the parody path in not-as-memorable films like Spy Hard, Wrongfully Accused, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. (He did earn notice in Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4.)

Nielsen worked into his 80s, appearing in even more spoof flicks like Superhero Movie and 2009′s Stan Helsing. Surely, we can’t be more serious when we say: Leslie Nielsen, you will be missed.


I grew up watching the Naked Gun movies as a child, till this day I have yet to find a comedy that equals the amounts of laughs that one induced.

He was a man with impeccable comedic talent, and he will indeed be sorely missed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Roger Federer Barclays ATP World Tour Champion!

It may have been Rafael Nadal's season, but Roger Federer had the last laugh today with victory over his great rival to win the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a fifth time.

The 22nd meeting between the pair brought an eighth success for Federer, who came flying out of the traps at London's O2 Arena and then recovered from some sloppy moments in the second set to race through the decider and triumph 6-3 3-6 6-1.

The title, his first since the tournament moved to London after previous victories in Houston and Shanghai, made Federer the joint holder of yet another record as he drew level with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.

The Swiss star will also head home more than £1million richer after going through the week undefeated, while 1,500 ranking points are a start in his bid to wrest back the number one spot from Nadal, who won three successive grand slams in 2010 but just failed to pick up the one major title still to elude him.

Federer said: "It's fantastic. I'm really thrilled the way I played all week. 

To win a fifth time is obviously amazing, for the third time in a different place.

"I'm just really happy the way I was able to finish the season in style, playing some of my best tennis, really saving the best for last.

"Obviously beating Rafa in the final makes it extra special because of the year he had."

Meetings between the two best players of this, or arguably any, era used to be 10 a penny, but today was only their fourth match since the classic Wimbledon final of 2008.

It was even more important then for Federer to come out on top after being well and truly usurped by his great rival as world number one.

Federer seemed to have all the advantages, with the match played on a surface that suits his attacking style and only 24 hours after Nadal's epic semi-final victory over Andy Murray.

The Spaniard's physical qualities are legendary but it quickly became clear he had not recovered fully as he watched Federer winners fly past him.

The 29-year-old had registered 10 winners before Nadal had even managed one, and that finally translated into a meaningful lead in the eighth game when he nonchalantly whipped a backhand winner cross-court to move 5-3 in front.

Four points later Federer had the first set in his pocket, and there seemed to be little way back for Nadal.

But Federer often has little lapses these days, and so it proved in the fourth game of the second set as he drilled a forehand wide to hand Nadal a break.

Nadal played the rest of the set intelligently, conserving energy where he could, and levelled the match with just over an hour played.

Nadal seemed to up his intensity at the start of the decider but there was no doubt how badly Federer wanted the victory and, when he piled on the pressure again, Nadal had no answer.

The second seed played a terrific point to break for a 3-1 lead and from there it was straightforward for Federer as he reeled off five games in a row to clinch victory.

Nadal refused to acknowledge the part his physical condition played in the defeat, instead choosing to heap praise on Federer.

"I think it is not the right moment to talk about that," he said. "Everybody saw the match yesterday, so everybody's free to make up their own opinion.

"But I'm not going to say I lost the match because I was tired.

"What I'm going to say, and what I feel, is I lost the match because I played against a very good Roger Federer on one of his favourite surfaces.

"And when he's playing like this, it is very difficult to stop him.

"I had little chances, I was there, but it wasn't enough. He played unbelievable. I think in the beginning he was unplayable.

"I just can congratulate him for his victory and another great tournament for him."

It may have been a mediocre year by Federer's own standards, but at least it started and ended on a high.  

And hey 66 titles is nothing to cry about either ;).

Looking better then ever Federer was on fire beating, Murray, Soderling, Djokovic and of course Nadal on the way to victory.

And the press says this guy has no motivation.

Near retirement my butt!.  As always R. Fed is here to stay.  Now I'm really sorry I didn't watch the whole tournament.

I'll have to go back and find those matches.

If Federer plays like this next year we're gonna be in for a treat.

But for now, Roger is off on a well deserved vacation.  Rest up Roger.  See you in Australia in 2011!.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mark Wahlberg to play "Uncharted" movie title character?

I've been hearing about the possible movie rumors for this great game for the past few years.  Well, now it looks like it might finally become a reality.

Mark Wahlberg is no stranger to starring in movies based on video games -- he played the title role in the 2008 adaptation of the first-person shooter game "Max Payne." 

And he's also quite comfortable to working with writer-director David O. Russell -- they've collaborated together on "Three Kings," "I Heart Huckabees" and this year's Oscar hopeful "The Fighter," about boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward.

So it makes perfect sense that Wahlberg is now set to tackle the lead role of adventurer Nathan Drake in "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune," the hot-ticket video-game adaptation that Russell is writing and directing. Wahlberg -- who was recently named one of MTV's actors we're most thankful for in 2010 -- confirmed as much when we caught up with him at the junket for "The Fighter."

"David is one of the best writer/directors I've ever worked with," Wahlberg told MTV. "The idea that he has is just insane. So hopefully we'll be making that movie this summer."

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Walhberg also confirmed rumors that Russell is writing roles for acting heavies (and "Goodfellas" costars) Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. "I'm obviously in whatever David wants to do, but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It's not going to be the watered-down version, that's for sure."

While Pesci and De Niro have yet to commit to the film, Wahlberg says that he has talked to Pesci about the role, and that De Niro has also been contacted. 

Sure, Drake's dad and uncle don't appear in the game, but we're betting they'll be there to shed some light on the Drake family's supposed relation to renowned explorer Sir Francis Drake.

For the uninitiated, "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune" charts the globetrotting adventurer's search for the treasure of El Dorado. Sounds like box-office gold.

After finally getting myself a PS3 around this time last year I absolutely fell in love with the Uncharted franchise.  I like it so much that I compare every game I've gotten since then to this game's standards.

So far the only thing that's even come close is Assassin's Creed (could be partly due to the fact that it's voiced by the same actor).

Mark Wahlberg is not who I imagined as the main character, but who knows it just might work, providing the script has the right amount of witty jokes and banter not to mention plenty of action.

The Prince of Persia movie was not too bad (Jake Gyllenhaal wouldn't have been my first choice either but he pulled it off).  Hopefully Mark can do the same.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DWTS 11: Finals part 2

Hard to believe it's been 10 weeks already, but yes sadly we have reached the end of yet another season of Dancing with the Stars.  And what a season it was!.

The night started off with all of the S11 couples hitting the dance floor at once doing a nicely choreographed number.

The guest singer tonight was Christina Aguilera who I've never really been a fan of but I do like a couple of her songs.

Throughout the show as is tradition we took a look back at all the stars that have been eliminated up to this point, with each of them honoring the viewers with one last favourite dance.

Then it was time for the final 3 to reprise their favourite dances of the season for the final batch of the judges scores.

Kyle & Lacey chose to reprise their Tango.  Which I must say was superb.  Kyle made it look even better then the first time.  He exuded control and confidence (no doubt born of 10 weeks of training).

The audience and judges were left charmed as usual.  With 110 points Kyle really was the last men standing, and fell just short of the trophy in second place. 

Bristol & Mark chose the Rock week Tango which I thought was good, but to be honest I liked the first performance better.  The judges thought so too she came in 3rd in the end with a total of 104.

Derek & Jennifer reprised their very first dance (from week 1) the Viennese Waltz.  Which was just as graceful as the first time she performed it, like Kyle she had a new found confidence that came through.

After hearing she had been in the hospital once more to correct a slipped spinal disk.  My respect jumped up another few notches.

Her ailments are really the only reminders that she is the oldest contest left, because you certainly wouldn't know by looking at her.

Watching her struggle physically and emotionally made the victory even sweeter.

Despite all the fears and rumors with a total of 118 points Jennifer and Derek the highest scoring couple all season were the champions of DWTS :). 

Proving once again that you really can't put Baby in a corner (sorry couldn't resist).  Way to go!.  Patrick would have been proud. 

This makes Derek the only pro to win the competition 3 times!.  Thanks Jen & Derek for making this season worth tuning into.

And thanks to all of you for reading.  I'll be back next year (probably) with a whole new group of stars to praise and criticize.

Monday, November 22, 2010

DWTS 11: Week 10 Finals part 1

Before I go on with re-capping tonight's show can I just say how much I hate that the one prediction I was actually right on all season sent one of the better couples home.

Brandy really did deserve the spot, she was the only contestant left who could have really given Jennifer a run for her money (not that Kyle won't), but with Brandy it would have been a much more closely contested affair.

Kyle & Lacey started things off tonight with what the judges called the redemption dance (a dance which they have previously done badly on).

For Kyle the judges chose the Foxtrot.  As per customary of the finals each judge popped into rehearsal to give one of the competitors some pointers.

Kyle got none other then Mr. fuddy-duddy himself Len Goodman.  Who helped Kyle with his posture and feet placement.

I must say Len's advice seemed to help him quite a bit.  He did look like a very poised confident gentlemen.

At the end of the dance Len concluded it was still not perfect, but it greatly improved since the first time he did the routine.

He thought Kyle went from messy Massey to marvelous.

Carrie Ann complemented him on the footwork, but said she likes the unrestrained Kyle better which is why she was looking forward to the free-style.  27/30 was their total.

Bristol & Mark were up next with the redemption Jive.  This time mercifully without the monkey suits.  Bruno was her mentor in rehearsal, I got a real kick out of watching Bruno cut loose :D.

The man can shake it like nobody's business! :D.  All the Bruno shenanigans seemed to help relax her a bit in the end though, and we actually saw more of her personality in this dance then we have in the entire season.

Carrie Ann thought it was more fun and vibrant.

Len found it a vast improvement from gorilla to thriller.  I don't know if I would go that far, it was nowhere near as exciting as it could have been.

A jive needs to be fast paced, with snappy kicks.  This wasn't even at half speed.  Good, but not great kind of like she has been all season.  27/30 was their score.

Jennifer & Derek  did the Paso Doble as their redemption dance.  Which was the one dance that knocked Jennifer off the leader board and which Carrie Ann found hectic.

So it made sense for her to be the one mentoring Jennifer in rehearsal.  It was the only performance which I was truly disappointed by as well.

This time everything worked great right down to the music.  It was full of emotion, power and control.  All the things that were missing the first time around.  The judges were in complete agreement.

Len thought it was fantastic, and lovely mix of expression and aggression.  He was so happy in fact that he give Jennifer a standing ovation.

Which by his standards is the biggest complement one can get.  So naturally, and unsurprisingly she ended up with the perfect score of 30/30 once again.

Next it was time for my absolute favourite the free-style round.

Kyle & Lacey did a rap free-style number to "Tootsie Roll".  This dance was so perfect for him it allowed his personality and charisma to shine.

Len admitted that although he doesn't like the boogaloo style (whatever that means:D) he found the whole thing to be great fun and entertainment.

Bruno thought Kyle was in his element.  And Carrie Ann dubbed him the "Fresh Prince" of DWTS 

He received 29/30.  An overall total of 56/60 putting him in second place again.

Bristol & Mark free-styled to Chicago's "Cell Block Tango".  Which really is one of those ideas that looks good on paper, but not practicality.

I don't know what Mark was thinking whenever you do something iconic like this it will undoubtedly always be compared to the original.

And well, in this case there really is nothing better.  As Carrie Ann herself pointed out it was a good attempt, but not quite at the level this particular song requires.

She was however proud of her for being bold enough to dance in a cage.  Len actually disagreed with Carrie Ann and thought Bristol did a really good job with it.  I found parts of it enticing, but kind of bland overall.

And zero on the excitement scale.  Which as we all know is the most important aspect of a free-style.  25/30 was the total for a grand total of 52/60 putting them at the bottom of the leader board once more.

Jennifer & Derek closed the show with their free-style set to Dirty Dancing's "Do You Love Me".

I have to say I really lowered my expectations for this one because I figured Jennifer would play it safe, so as not to re-injure herself.

Boy, was I wrong!.  She went full out with some crazy flips and tricks.  Once again Derek proved he is the king of choreography.

Also is it me?, or did the judges table get a bigger work out in this final then it has in all 11 years *lol*.  Tom Bergeron thought the same thing.

Carrie Ann was at a loss for words she just called it perfect and amazing.  Bruno thought she did the 2 dances equally well.  Len called Jennifer a consistent, persistent, irresistible force.

Yep that pretty much sums her up.  With comments like that it was no surprise she ended up with a perfect score of 60/60.

I just hope it's enough. I swear if Bristol Palin somehow manages to win this thing despite being in last place.  I am never watching this show again.

I'm not a Bristol hater, or anything I just think it would be incredibly unfair for her to win this being the most inconsistent one of the 3.

Despite having a good couple of good weeks I think the performance should be judged on an overall basis and let's face it overall her performance has been marginal. 

Tomorrow night the couples will be doing two more dances for some additional judges scores that will help determine the winner.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ATP to extend players offseason in 2012

LONDON (AP)—The ATP is extending the offseason in men’s tennis from five to seven weeks, starting in 2012, without reducing the number of tournaments.

The decision, announced Sunday at the ATP World Tour Finals, was approved by the ATP Board ahead of the season-ending event at the O2 Arena in London.

“Our 2012 and 2013 calendars each provide for the seven-week offseason, meaning that our players will have an additional two weeks to spend away from the rigors of life on tour before taking up the cause again in the following year,” ATP President Adam Helfant said.

“I’m happy to say that these new calendars and the expanded offseason reflect the broad consensus among our members that the players, and really the sport as a whole, needed a longer break. It didn’t take long to find that consensus.”

The men’s tour has gone on vacation from the end of the ATP Finals in November until the start of the following season in early January at the Brisbane International, Chennai Open and Qatar Open.

But the seasons will end sooner in 2012 and ’13 with the rescheduling of four late-season events along with the removal of the off-week between the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.

For years, players have complained that the season was too long, and that the wear-and-tear of playing so many matches and so many tournaments was causing injuries.

“The health and well-being of our players is a tour-wide issue and preserving and extending the playing careers of our top players is critical for the long-term good of the game,” Helfant said.

This year, the final week of the season—the ATP Finals—started Nov. 21. But in 2012, the final week will begin on Nov. 5.

The Davis Cup, however, would still be scheduled for after the ATP Finals.

The season-ending ATP Finals, a tournament for the top eight players in the world, will be in London at least through 2013. If the tournament goes back to Asia or another venue that could cause difficulty for travel from Paris, more changes could be made.

“We have not even begun to think about what post 2013 could start to look like,” Helfant said. “When we start to have those conversations, which could be next year, we can of course look at our calendars.”

Took them long enough!. 

This will no doubt help to prevent injuries many players suffer as they near the end of the season, and hopefully throughout. 

Now if only they could do the same for the WTA.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roger Federer Mercedes Benz commercial

I honestly don't know which is prettier the car, or the man.  Judge for yourselves.

Something tells me we'll be seeing this ad a lot come January 2011 during the Aussie Open :).

Monday, November 15, 2010

DWTS 11: Week 9 Semi Finals

And then there were 4.  Time really does fly by we're almost at the end of the competition.

Only 2 more weeks left.  Tonight the couples did 2 dances each one Ballroom and one Latin. 

Brandy & Maks danced the Paso Doble.  The judges really enjoyed it, and all agreed that despite a couple of missteps the performance was very strong.

I thought it was good, but it just didn't have the wow factor of last week's.  27/30.  Their 2nd dance was the Argentine Tango.

All the judges praised the performance so it was not a surprise that the score was a perfect 30/30.  For an overall total of 57/60.

Again I thought it was well done, but the best Argentine Tango of the season still belongs to Jennifer and Derek.

Over the years I've noticed an interesting pattern that seems to occur almost every time we reach the semi finals.

That being the fact that the judges seem to lower the scores of the 2nd highest scoring couple.  Until last week Brandy was neck and neck with Jennifer (she was on the top of the judges leader board for 4 weeks in a row).

And now that we're nearing the end of the competition, the judges all of a sudden picked a new favourite.  That's not to say that Kyle doesn't deserve it, he absolutely does.

But still, it just seems like they intentionally want to shake their confidence just when they need it the most.

Jennifer & Derek danced a sultry Cha-Cha that was done to perfection 30/30.  Bruno called it luminous and vibrant, I couldn't agree more.

It's like now that we're nearing the end Jennifer found renewed energy and joy.  It was almost infectious at times.

Watching her dance just makes me so glad she decided to do this in the first place.  The competition just would not be the same.

Her second dance was a simplistically elegant Waltz that brought Carrie Ann to tears.  It was technically and stylistically beautiful, and at times looked as if she floated on the dance floor.

Another perfect score, for an overall total of 60/60.  Can't ask for better then that (if she does not make it to the finals I'm never watching this show again).

Kyle & Lacey danced a Samba that Bruno dubbed as the 'bouncing bundle of joy' :D.  That really is the best way to describe it and him :D.  Len on the other hand complimented Kyle on his bionic bum :D.

And I'm with Lacey please keep Kyle around I wanna see him do the free style!.  He received his first 10's of the season as well as his highest score 29/30.

Next it was Kyle's turn for an Argentine Tango after which Bruno dubbed him as season 11's Mr. Charisma (well duh *lol*).

In all 11 season's I don't think there has ever been a contestant more charismatic and charming then Kyle. I love his continued unbridled joy, and would love to see more of it in the finale so vote!.

Overall total 58/60 putting him in second place on the judges score board.

Bristol & Mark did a Paso Doble that earned her a hug from Carrie Ann for finally coming into her own, or coming out of her shell as she put it.

Bruno thought she was a lamb that turned into a tigress.  Both Bruno and Len thought she had beautiful lines.  Len called it her best dance.  27/30 her highest score of the competition.

Her second dance was the Waltz.  Carrie Ann thought she once again drifted in and out of the dance (character-wise).

Len liked the vulnerabilty and both he and Bruno found it beautifully haunting. 

Bruno also complemented her on her great journey.  26/30 

With 53/60 overall she once again finds herself at the bottom of the score board.

While I completely agree with all of them that she has made leaps and bounds in terms of progress since first coming on the show, I'm just not sure that all that is deserving of a spot in the final.

Because when you get right down to it she really isn't the best dancer especially when compared to the other 3.

Also while she's made giant improvements over the past 9 weeks, she has been the least consistent.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I do actually like her as a person, and appericiate all her effort, I think she should be the one to go home.  But something tells me that won't happen.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

DWTS 11: Week 8 Instant Dance

Once again my elimination prediction was way off, I did not see Rick & Cheryl going home.

I'm starting to think that this year is once again more about who has the biggest fan-base as opposed to who's the better dancer.

This week also introduced another  brand new dance challenge called Instant Dance.  Which basically meant the celebs and instructors were given a second dance style but no music.

The music was given to each of them shortly before the dance.  Some had 45 minutes (to practice), some 20 and some even less.

Which made it challenging not only for the celebrities who had to find the beat as soon as they hit the dance floor, but also for the instructors who usually have a couple of days to choreograph a routine to a given song. 

I must admit when I first heard they were doing this I thought the night would turn into a total and complete disaster.  But for once I am so happy to say I was wrong.

In fact this was by far my favourite night of the competition this season.  But let's get to the dancers themselves.

Tonight I'm going to do something a bit different instead of talking about each pair in the order they danced.  I'll talk about both their dances (saves me from having to write their names twice in one post).

Kyle & Lacey were up first with a Viennese Waltz.  Looks like all of Lacey's yelling during training is paying off.  Kyle came out looking like a real gentleman leading his lady around the dance floor.

Just like Bruno and Carrie Ann I found myself charmed by the whole thing.  It was just lovely.  Even Len was impressed with Kyle's ability to take their criticism and improve upon it.  27/30.

He followed that up with a Jive so exuberant it got the audience up on their feet for a standing ovation. Dancing to  Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly" fit him like a glove.

Forget what I said about last week being his best effort, tonight was by far his best dance of the competition!.  Dude was on fire!.

The judges thought so too he got 29/30 for a total of 56/60 putting him in 2nd place on the leader board.

Jennifer & Derek were out second with the Quickstep.  I'm really impressed with Jennifer's desire and commitment.

I mean she's soldiering on despite having tendonitis in her knee ( I just hope she doesn't regret it, and that her knee holds up).

The judges all seemed to appreciate her effort as well, and encouraged her to stop worrying and keep going because she is good. 27/30.

Their other dance was a sexy and sensual Rumba which included some amazing leg stretches by Jennifer.

Carrie Ann said it best there's nothing more beautiful then watching someone reclaim their power.  The dance earned them a perfect 30 (and their first 10's of the season).

For a total of 57/30 putting them on top of the leader board once more.

Kurt & Anna did the Waltz and although Carrie Ann thought he's not on the same level as everyone else she appreciated the effort.  24/30.

Earlier in the night Bruno mentioned that the Instant Dance seemed to bring out the best in everyone.  This was exactly the case in Kurt's Cha-Cha.

He danced with total abandon, and actually looked like he had finally found some musicality in his movement.  He also looked the most relaxed that I've ever seen him throughout the show.

As Bruno said he let loose, had fun and as a result the performance was good.  48/60 was their overall total.

Bristol & Mark  did an Argentine Tango.  The first dance of hers I truly enjoyed, I actually saw some emotion and intensity as opposed her usual blank slate.

Len didn't agree he thought it lacked intensity, but was technically sound. Bruno still thought she went in and out of the dance at times.

Carrie Ann found the leg flicks to be week and suggested she work on them.  24/30.

They also danced the Samba which failed to impress Carrie Ann who thought it had plenty of personality and not enough musicality.

I have to agree, while on the surface the dance looked really good, a Samba should really pop with energy and hip movement in particular (as Len himself pointed out).

There was plenty of shaking but that only went so for on the entertainment, or technical scale.

Plus a Samba is supposed to be smoldering and I just didn't feel that and neither did the judges who give her 23 for a grand total of   47/60.  Putting them on the bottom once again.

Maks & Brandy  dressed in white told a beautiful story through an elegantly soft Waltz.  Earning herself 29/30.

The Cha-Cha was next.  Len thought it had flare, rhythm and performance, while Carrie Ann found issue with the fact they took 3 beats too long to start the dance.

I really like Brandy and I'm rooting for her but I gotta agree with Carrie Ann on this.  As a viewer I found the cutesy we have chemistry let's milk it for all it's worth part annoying.

Seemed like Maks got a bit too confident.      

28 was their score for a total of 57/60 another tie with Jennifer for first place.  And the top spot for the 4th week in a row.

Once again it's becoming pretty clear who the real contenders of the competition are. 

If Jennifer and Brandy along with Kyle don't make it to the semi-finals next week, I will be shocked and outraged.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Martina Hingis/Anna Kournikova exhibition match in Argentina in December

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will face off in an exhibition on 16 December in Argentina.  

The great duel between the archrivals of the 90 will be in the parking lot of the Tigre train station, where they built a stadium for 8,500 people (outdoor cement.)  

Be the first time in the country  for Sampras and Agassi second.  As a preliminary, will play Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova.


Ooh fun!.  I hope it's televised. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Roger Federer back on top on home turf

BASEL, Switzerland (AP)—Roger Federer reclaimed his hometown title from Novak Djokovic, beating the defending champion 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the Swiss Indoors final on Sunday.

The top-seeded Federer broke the Serb’s serve early in the first, and twice in the deciding set to cruise to victory in under two hours. Federer’s 65th career singles title moved him past Pete Sampras into sole possession of fourth on the list in the modern era. Jimmy Connors leads with 109.

The Basel-born Federer was watched courtside by his parents, his wife, Mirka, and their 15-month-old twin daughters, Myla and Charlene.

“It’s very emotional winning at home, it makes it extra special. Because I live here and because the fans are behind me,” Federer said.

A former ballboy at the tournament, Federer won three straight Swiss Indoors titles from 2006-08 before Djokovic broke the streak when they met in last year’s final.

“It’s great to have won it after losing last year. It reminded me of last year’s match, but (this time) I got off to a great start in the third set,” he said.

Djokovic said he lost “a little bit of balance and focus” in the decider.

“You don’t get many chances against Roger when he is on top of you. There was no way back,” Djokovic said.

Federer is 4-4 in finals this year after winning titles at the Australian Open, Cincinnati Masters and the Stockholm Open.

The 29-year-old Swiss improved to 12-6 lifetime against Djokovic, and 3-1 this year. His only loss to the 23-year-old Serb this season came in a five-set U.S. Open semifinal in which he wasted two match points.

Both players had to save two break points in their opening service game. 

Federer broke in the next when a stretching Djokovic netted a backhand, then held for a 3-1 lead.
Federer set up a set point with an ace at 124 mph. 

Djokovic stayed alive with a backhand then wasted a break chance by firing a forehand long. Federer clinched the set with a service winner and celebrated by punching the air and shouting.

Djokovic started the second set strongly and broke for a 2-0 lead when Federer’s topspin backhand sailed wide.

He was handed a set-point chance at 5-2 when Federer double-faulted, but the Swiss’s serve got him out of trouble.

Serving for the set, Djokovic saved a break point with a service winner then delivered another to level the match.

Into the third, Federer made uncharacteristic errors at the net, but led 3-1 after Djokovic double-faulted.
Federer broke again on his third chance in his opponent’s next service game.

He held three match points with a deft volley winner at the net, then clinched the win with a backhand winner down the line.

“Results-wise, Roger is the best player ever to play the game,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview.

Federer will take a 57-12 season mark—and No. 1 seeding in the absence with a shoulder injury of top-ranked Rafael Nadal—into the Paris Masters, which began Sunday. It’s the last event before the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals being held Nov. 21-28 in London.

Djokovic dropped to 2-2 in 2010 title matches, with wins in Dubai and Beijing and a U.S. Open final loss to Nadal.

yahoo sports

Note to the rest of the sports press.  I don't know about you but this doesn't look like a guy who's slowing down, or on the brink of retirement :P.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Memorable Martina Moment: '98 Du Maurier Open

I don't remember much of this one, the only one I remember is the one from '99 that Martina finally won.

But this one has got some amazing shots and rallies on both sides.  Classic tennis at it's best.  I miss those days.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kim Clijsters to retire again in 2012?

You've made no secret of the fact you'd like to have more children. Does that put more pressure on you in terms of what you want to achieve next season? 

I work hard and try to be the best tennis player possible, but yeah we do want to have more children. I'd like to try and keep the tennis going until the Olympics in London, at which point Jada will be obligated to go to school. So that's when I'll probably be calling it quits and just focus on the family.

She will also keep herself occupied with a tennis club she bought at home in Belgium.

Together with a friend of mine, I've bought a tennis club in Belgium — actually the club where I practice at in Bree. We're going through the process of rebuilding it, so when I retire from tennis, that's something that will interest me very much.

You can read the whole interview at guardian.co.uk

Glad we at least have a couple of more years.  I would really like her to win the Australian Open, or Wimbledon before she goes away again (for good).

That's what I'm hoping, and looking forward to.  Her hoisting those 2 trophies would be a very nice icing on the cake of her career.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Martina Hingis talks horse jumping

Photo from hingis.org

Switzerland's Martina Hingis is the keynote speaker of the international jumping competition that began yesterday at the stud farm Rooses Strazeele.  

Before entering the competition, the tennis champion, former world No. 1, evokes passion unknown to the general public riding.

Martina, why did you come to Strazeele?

"I had to go to Lyon at the base for another international show jumping.  But I have a horse who can participate in a five star contest. It was too complicated.  With my boyfriend (Hutin Thibault), it suited us better to come here.  

 He had already come twice, I had never come into the North, except once at Bethune.  He knows the competition and hospitality of the people here. 

You consider yourself an amateur?

"Yes, of course.  Tennis has always been a priority in my life.  It is through the exhibitions that I earn money.  Horseback riding is the opposite: we must spend.  To participate in major competitions, we must prepare differently. "

What are your limits?

"I hope one day to cross 1.40 meters. But I'm in no hurry and I do not put pressure.  It is important that the horses are healthy too.  It's not like tennis: we are both in the sport there. "

Strazeele is it an important step in your season?

"I always want to do well, here or elsewhere, as when I played tennis with weekly competitions.  Riding remains a challenge.  I am happy when I'm good competition, when I'm closed.  It's really a hobby.  I do not want to put the horse or myself in danger. "
What exercises do you work this weekend?

"The show jumping course.  For now, I manage to cross bars 1, 20 m, 1.25 m Ragana (horse 8 years).  This will be the first contest that I will make with him: I did not ridden for five months while I've had it a year.  With Cortino (13 years), I have already crossed 1.35 m.  But with either one or the other, I only participate in events a star this weekend. "

What are your next contest?

"I would like to align myself to major competitions in Paris and Brussels in late November, early December.But I need to gain confidence in myself and my horses.  That's why this weekend is important.   It's a bit like a Grand Slam in tennis: if you arrive by trembling, it's over. "

You train a lot at home in Switzerland?

"No, I'm not even a quarter of what I did for tennis, that is to say four to six hours of training per day.  This should be done if I wanted to reach the top level.  All this does not come from heaven. A little talent, that helps too. "

Translated with Google (which is why it's a bit choppy but overall not bad).

Good to know she's taking things slowly with this new hobby wouldn't want a repeat of what happened to her in '97 (where she fell off the horse breaking her hip).

Thus costing herself the French Open title.  And I guess the boyfriend rumor was true after all, hope she takes things slowly on that front as well.

Monday, November 01, 2010

DWTS 11: Week 7 200th Episode Special

Before I go on talking about tonight I have to say I was shocked Audrina was voted off over Kurt and Bristol since clearly she was the better dancer of the two.

On the other hand had she not been the one voted off it would have been Jennifer and Derek (who in my opinion shouldn't have been in the bottom 2 in the first place), so I suppose it worked out in the end. 

I feel sorry for Tony had Audrina been saved he would have had a real shot at the mirror ball trophy.

Which for him doesn't seem to happen often (if I recall correctly he's the only one of the original cast who hasn't won the trophy, made it to finals but never won).   Moving on to the show now.

This being the show's 200th episode, the producers brought back the best past champions and runners up to help with a Cha-Cha group number.

First up team Kristi Yamaguchi consisting of Lacey & Kyle, Mark & Bristol and Rick & Cheryl.  Each team started out dancing in unison and broke off into individual routines.

While Rick & Cheryl stood out the most in terms of the dance quality Kyle & Lacey were not far behind and I thought theirs was the most fun.  Loved the M.J. inspired moves towards the end.   

Bristol & Mark weren't too bad either, she's definitely showing more and more improvement, but I'm not sure whether it'll be enough to keep her around.  More on that later.

Their total team score which would later be added to their overall individual scores was 24.

Up next was team Apollo Ohno comprised of Kurt & Anna, Brandy & Max and Jennifer & Derek.  As the judges pointed out all were equally impressive thus they received a higher score of 27.

Next it was time for each couples individual dance with a bit of a twist.  This time they had to recreate the best dances of each of the past runners up and champions.

Kyle & Lacey got my absolute fave and the second hardest (the first being Helio Castroneves Quickstep) to have a go at 5th season's Mel B. and Maks Paso Doble

Which as I've mentioned on many occasions has been simply unmatched by anyone.  Though I thought Kyle give it a valiant effort.

Mel B. thought he made it look powerful and sexy.  The judges all agreed it was his best dance.

I thought it was quite well done he definitely got the right level of passion and aggression.  And I also agree it was his best dance thus far.   35/40 was his score and an overall total of 59/70.

Kurt & Anna had to recreate Emmitt Smith's season 1 Tango.  Since I only started watching the show in season 5 I can't fairly judge whether the dance was equally good or not.

The judges were all in agreement that he looked more confident and a major improvement over last week. Bruno thought his movements were much sharper.  My opinion just as last week remains unchanged 34/40 and 61/70 overall.

Bristol & Mark received Kelly Osbourne's season 9 Viennese Waltz.  Carrie Ann and Bruno thought she still had trouble connecting, but did really well with it.

Len saw much improvement in foot work and technique.  I agree with Len on both counts,  but also like Bruno and Carrie Ann I thought the lack of emotional connection really hurt the routine.

At this point in the competition I'm starting to doubt that she'll ever get there emotion wise.

Although I have been very wrong with my predictions this season I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that either she, or Kurt will be the ones to go home next.

33/40 and 57/70 overall putting them in last place on the score board.

Rick & Cheryl had the misfortune of having to attempt Helio Castroneves 5th season "Mask" inspired Quickstep.  With Rick in a green suit (as opposed to Helio's banana yellow).

Although I thought it was a really great effort it did not match the same level of energy and quickness thus losing it's quality and fun (although Rick did try to make up for it by as Bruno put it making more faces then Jim Carrey :D).

In terms of the speed I guess Helio had the advantage of being the same height as Julianne something that undoubtedly made things much more difficult for Rick.

Carrie Ann and Len thought it was by far his best dance.  37/40 and 61/70 overall.

Brandy & Maks were up next with Gilles Marini season 8 Foxtrot.  Which I thought she absolutely nailed, it oozed seduction and sexiness.  Simply put, it was totally hot!.

It was so hot in fact that while Bruno and Carrie Ann got a bit hang up on a small misstep.  Len  who's usually mr. footwork did not even care!.

I'm almost certain this dance will be added to the best of/all time 10 best list.  37/40 and 64/70 overall putting them at the top of the leader board for the third week in a row.

Derek & Jennifer closed the show with Dru Lachey's season 3 Tango.

There's something about classic ballroom dances that really agrees with her, because every time she gets them, it brings out the best in her dancing abilities.

The judges who were full of nothing but high praise thought so too.  Dru liked Jennifer's beautiful lines and leg movement I must agree, I also loved all the passion and sensuality she conveyed through the movement.

I think Len said it best welcome back Jennifer!. 37/40 and 64/70 overall tying them for first place and putting them back on top once more.

I really have to applaud Jennifer I don't know the exact age of all the contestants but I believe she's the oldest one remaining.  Working her butt off despite all her limitations, it's admirable and inspiring to watch.

We are far enough into the competition that I feel like I can confidently state this now. I'm picking Jennifer & Derek and Maks & Brandy as the top two competing for the finals.

I honestly think they deserve it, because they clearly are the standouts of the season.  Jury is still out on the 3rd spot.