Friday, August 29, 2014

Miles to go....

An interesting piece in Newsday:
"STATS, a technology and data company using a system it calls SportVU, has done motion tracking of athletes in primary professional sports and concluded that only soccer players log more mileage in competition than tennis players.

"According to SportVU, a soccer player runs as far as 9.5 miles during a game. Tennis players cover from three to five miles in a five-set match, NBA players almost three miles, football players about 1.25 miles and baseball players around 100 yards."
That's a pretty interesting finding. What makes it more interesting is that Stuart Miller, the anti-doping manager for the International Tennis Federation, had this to say about tennis and stamina in 2009:
"It may be that tennis is not conducive to EPO. Maybe tennis is not a sport that is driven by a need to maximize stamina, which is what EPO essentially does."
Hmmm....


81 comments:

  1. And if we consider the continuos cycles of sudden acceleration, fast sprinting and fast stop, perhaps it may be even more tiring that soccer. Who knows.

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  2. OT but last night Sabine Lisicki hit a 123 mph serve. 5'10" 154 lbs. hit a 123 mph serve. Roger Federer's fastest serve last night was 125 mph. Please explain.

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    1. These serving speeds are touched though by the heavy/overtechnology racquets and strings. That's why the older serve speed records are more valid and much more impressive, because with wood racquets, the play is more bare and less factors in the way. That's also why a serving record from the 80s or 90s (already modern racquets) is more impressive and credible than one from the 2000s/2010s no matter what the case is.

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    2. Example: Roscoe Tanner's 150mph+ serves in the 70s using wood.

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  3. These studies probably underestimate the exercise"work" that tennis players do, since they are generally still moving, even when standing in one spot.

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  4. Here is what Kermode has to say about the current state of tennis in a recent interview with Rothenberg:

    "My biggest challenge is that I inherited the game in the healthiest position it’s ever been in. Iconic superstars, obviously the four iconic players. Then the second cast list, the depth is men’s tennis is so huge, the standard of the product is so high. As a consequence, we’ve had record attendances on all ATP World Tour events last year, record TV audiences, commercial revenues are up hugely. So the challenge is where we take the game from here, and to continue that growth and make sure we put a stretch in place for sustainable growth."

    No wonder there is little to no incentive to dethrone any of your "four iconic players" / cash cows - the money seems to flow abundantly and so everybody is happy. Any serious anti-doping efforts only ruin your uber-succesful business model.

    On match-fixing:

    "First of all, it’s an issue that we clearly have to be on top of. And we are. We have the Tennis Integrity Unit, which is where all the diverse stakeholders in tennis — ATP, WTA, Grand Slams, ITF — all come together to have this unit. We are on it, and we just have to be vigilant at all times, as all sport has to be. Because sport has to be real. As soon as it isn’t real, it loses the essence of what it is."

    "Q. With doping, there isn’t much transparency. The only time anything is released is when there is a punishment handed down. Otherwise nothing is disclosed in terms of provisional bans, investigations, whatever. How do you feel about that?

    A. I think it’s such a complex issue, and you can get into very dangerous legal territory if you start releasing information before. I think we have to be 100 percent certain that something has happened, in fairness for everybody, because someone’s career can be tarnished if something is released and it’s not."

    Too bad Rothenberg had no chance to dig deeper...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/sports/tennis/inheriting-a-successful-tour-new-atp-chief-looks-to-the-future.html?_r=0

    OT Sharapova should receive a more severe time violation imo, it's unbelievable how lenient the ump's are with her - Wozniacki rightly complaints about that now. She takes way more time than the allowed 20 secs - how come she gets away with it? (Answer according to Kermode: she is an "iconic player", a euphemism for being unpunishable and well protected.)

    And I know we have been there, and i should prolly not have watched her match anyway, but still, I have to say this: Sharapova's constant war cries/ shrieking is beyond unsportsmanlike - she continues her screams long after the impact on her racquet and intensifies whenever she is starting to attack. I WISH I COULD STUFF A TOWEL IN HER FACE!!

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    1. The responses / comments from tennis' administration always make me feel that they take a tougher line with match fixing' vs. 'doping'.

      This is lamentable, IMO, since doping is the bigger threat to the sport.

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    2. There's two reasons and two reasons only that doping in tennis isn't taken seriously by the ITF/ATP/WTA/etc.

      1.) They just don't care
      2.) They are terrified if they have any real doping measures that a star player would be caught

      It's one or the other given their lack of testing and lack of transparency

      And his quote about tennis audiences? He must be talking worldwide because here in the States, tennis TV ratings have been terrible this year. Even Federer-Djokovic Wimbledon final got terrible ratings.

      As for the time warnings, they've been very lenient this year. I do know there is a pretty famous Dmitry Tursunov You Tube clip where he gets called for a time violation then proceeds to ask the umpire why Nadal is allowed to get away with multiple time violations and not called on them while lesser stars are.called a lot.

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  5. Interesting news: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/former-australian-open-player-gave-tips-on-fixed-matches-20140901-109lnp.html

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    1. Interesting read. Makes sense that fixing is rampant on the Challenger and Future level - to supplement one's income this seems a fairly common practice.

      Also relevant - fixing is closely tied to other illegal activities like drug dealing, Cocaine in this case. You could also easily imagine that some coache/manager/player uses the money to invest in PED's to make extra money on the side while conveniently supplying one's own supply.

      On a related note, did anyone notice the strange UO Gulbis/Thiem match?

      It checks imo all boxes that are being mentioned as an indicator for a fixed match according to the article. Both players know each other well, share the same manager. Gulbis, the higher seeded player wins the first two sets to then crash out to newbee Thiem, who desperately needs ranking points...

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    2. Hmmm. Interesting. Unfortunately I missed that match but I was surprised at the outcome. Will be interesting to see how Thiem does against Berdych today.

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  6. Interesting comment from Roger Federer in his post-match presser last night when asked about his next opponent, Bautista-Agut:

    "He's overall a solid player. I would assume he's fit, too, because he comes from the Spanish tennis school, which they just know how to train hard. They never get tired. They're always ready to go."

    They never get tired. Hmmmm. What are you really saying there Fed?

    http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2014-08-31/201409011409544359906.html

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  7. This will bring a wry smile to a few. Today's UK Guardian describes World No 4 David Ferrer as Sara Errani's 'male equivalent'.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/aug/31/us-open-caroline-wozniacki-maria-sharapova-sara-errani

    Yes. I thought, quite right.

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    1. Well they did share the same "doctor".

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    2. Same hormones and PED's = same primal grunt.

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    3. I have the sneaky feeling that Mitchell was winking as he wrote that.

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    4. Yet, he gets all starry-eyed when writing about Murray...

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  8. How does someone that trained in Miami still have problems with the heat?

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    1. Because they let LeBron go.....

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    2. Jimmy Arias, former top 5 player, called Murray for gamesmanship during USOPEN live commentary, based on his perception that Murray plays up 'physical issues' between points, while he appears unimpaired during them.

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    3. Even though he's right on some issues, I think Murray just likes to exaggerate his physical issues and complain.

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    4. Let's see what Djokovic is going to serve him tonite...

      Djokovic was boss on serve - especially against Kohlschreiber so far and Murray looked wobbly throughout. He won't even have to play up his tired cramps schtick, he'll be out before he gets to that.

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    5. Djokovic is back to his grinding best after the lulls through the US summer Masters swing. He wore Murray down, which isn't a surprise given that Murray is the heavier, muscling player. But still the sheer effortlessness of some of the defence on display has your head shaking at times.

      I don't see anyone with a chance of stopping him, even an in form Federer.

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    6. @Bacon Tripper

      Yup, intensity-wise this was reminiscent of the old Nadal/Djoker battles 2011 - at their PED-peakest, endless 20+shot rallies and defending-or-die approach.

      Especially the second set looked oddly familiar, the only difference was that Murray after losing that set looked visibly spent at the end of the 3rd and could not keep up the long rallies and required precision to outlast a DJOKER.

      Also there was a back pain issue with Murray, though after what they played till then seemed only a logical corollary.

      Another relevant element to his win was how Djoker was able to raise his 1st serve percentage AFTER that lost 2nd set - which was low to his standards, 58%, to an above average of 78 % in the third (I think it was).

      How on earth does one do that? It is not that your concentration and inner balance is all groovy all of a sudden. Any thoughts on this?

      It took two hours to finish the first two sets - and an incredible 22 mins for the first THREE games... Also those rallies - Murray could not keep up that intensity in the 3rd and 4th, if he could that would have been a clear indicator for chemical helpers, I'd argue. However, he could only put up spells of competetiveness against a fitter Djoker. Still, I mean, wow, the speed of his crosscourt fh was unbelievable at times, what a shot! Otoh, the fact that Djokovic wore him done eventually and was able to outlast him should raise some eyebrows here.

      Apparently Djokovic hired Becker to shorten his endless rallying and finish points earlier. Yet, the first set and part of the 2nd and 3rd looked like he forgot about everything Becker presumably taught him.

      It seems that, if Nadal achieved anything aside from his numerous titles, it is to raise awareness of not over-abusing and go-for-broke on one's body; rather, be resourceful, finish earlier to have a long and nevertheless PED-assisted career.

      All of a sudden, Djokovic is singing the same tune as Federer...interesting. Yet, this match did not look like he fully applied the newly found wisdom.

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    7. I don't know if you saw the match but BOTH players got spent. Actually, Djokovic got spent first near the end of the second set. Then he pretty much stop running in the tie-break and in the whole second set. It's weird that people just talk about Murray. Maybe because he was foolish enough to try to play the same intensity game after being visibly spent, perhaps he was so used to not get tired that he just continued firing with all his strength.

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    8. Sorry, my bad, must be my phrasing. First, I do think neither of them is beyond doubt regarding doping, in fact, I would suspect both equally since, in general, under the current regime, I won't vouch for any player on the tour as long as testing is as inadequate and unsmart and run by the likes of Miller and his minions.

      I DID see the match and, yes, or else I would not comment here. Both did not appear fresh as a daisy while battling it out. Indeed, Djokovic did suck in the air while Murray won a rally and he was panting heavily - yet, the result: he was able to outlast Murray, fitness-wise. Murray somewhat collapsed at beginning of the 3rd and could not keep up the amazing intensity he had put on display during the first two sets. It was only downhill from there on. While his opponent, still, was able to raise his serve quota - I did not bother to check his serve speed but would assume they were pretty fast.

      To summarize my point: Murray was hindered by his physical issues, his back pain and lack of form caught up on him - presumably a result of his before displayed high-voltage tenis which he could not maintain.

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    9. Murray got outlasted just for the simple fact that he wanted to keep the rythm. He couldn't because perhaps his roid regime wasn't that focused to stamina this time (bad choice). About Djokovic, he totally turned off his engines towards the end of the second set. Even in the 6-2 set, he barely run anymore. It's normal that he was fresher in the fourth set. He got a nice rest. If he's doped or not in THIS tournament, I don't know. Their performance didn''t even get close to their AO12 semifinal. Which makes me think he's kind of clean, kind of.
      You can see also the huge effort of the USTA in general to overwhelm everyone with the stupidest and insiginifcant information about Federer. Not only Federer enjoys massive publicity sponsored by from the USTA/Nike, he has been given ust one day match. Chances are he's allowed a little bit of magic juice to give the USO more revenue. They can't afford to risk his main cash cow.

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    10. Excellent, so Federer is on the juice, and disgustingly covered by the USTA, while Djokovic, definitely in the form of his life 'probably isn't'. Well that is just some blunt crap..

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  9. "It has been announced on Tuesday that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation recorded no adverse analytical findings from anti-doping tests conducted during the 2014 edition of the Tour de France.


    The total number of 719 blood and urine samples were taken to analysis, including 517 samples being part of the biological passport programme and 197 samples taken before the race has started without a single positive result coming out of them."

    Hurrah!!!!! The sport is 100% clean at last lol. I guess problems only occur when your pharmacist's pill counter gets contaminated with an out-dated anti-gout drug that rarely gets prescribed nowadays.......

    (Clever boys.......................)


    http://www.cyclingquotes.com/news/2014_tour_de_france_free_of_anti-doping_rule_violations/

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    1. http://www.cyclisme-dopage.com/actualite/2014-07-25-lemonde-fr.htm

      Actually, you will note here that TdF winner Vincenzo Nibali measured at 417 watts. By way of comparison, Lance Armstrong measured 406 watts in 1999. Floyd Landis measured 395. So this year's clear TdF winner was stronger than the disgraced doping non winners from 1999-2006. Yeahright.

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  10. I feel bad for Caroline Wozniacki. She deserves to finally win a slam but can anyone stop the Steroid Williams freight train? Seems unlikely right now.

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    1. She is the real champion this year. SHE is the last woman standing.

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  11. Williams has now been the oldest women's #1 in history for 19 months.

    The way things are going she may stay there another 5 years!

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    1. The horrors!

      On a related note, Jennifer Capriati has threatened us with a comeback... she is 38 or sumpin...

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    2. I know Serena said she wanted to play at least until the 2016 Olympics, but as long as tennis is letting her get away with doping, why not rack up the Slam wins. It's a joke but few care and no one asks the right questions.

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    3. Serena did produce some results, but her legit grand slam total is really worth 5 or a bit more.

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  12. Is anyone else suspicious of Kei Nishikori? In the past the guy has had zero stamina and poor fitness. He withdraws from Toronto and Cincy due to a toe injury which requires surgery. Then he immediately makes the QF in Washington and now a historic run at the USO. How does this kid go from retiring and withdrawing from tournaments to beating two top-10 players in B2B 5 setters, playing well over 8 hours in 2 days? Is this all because of Michael Chang in his box? I'm not buying it.

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    1. Exactly. Nishi is really on the good juice. The same as Dimitrov with his fit coach Rasheed. And perhaps Raonic too with the experience of Ljubicic. The young guns are following the good old path.

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    2. Notice how all suddenly look really buff and bulky, they used to be lanky and slimmer.

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    3. It is VERY easy to tell when someone is enhancing their stamina chemically.

      If you have played the game, you know that the players that play primarily defensively, should tire more quickly, than the attacking players. The attacking players call this "having my opponent on a string". The defensive player has to "sprint" from side to side, to meet the ball. If the defensive players outlast the attacking player, then it is likely that they are on something.

      I strongly suspect Nishikori is on something. Especially because of his large mid-career improvement.

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    4. I wouldn't be surprised if he (meaning Nishikori) is on something. He probably sees everyone else doing it and winning Slams and getting their ranking up so why not him. It's not like he'll get caught or punished or anything like that.

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  13. What do people think of Marin Cilic's awesome comeback season? He's having a career year coming of a doping suspension. I watched him wear down the much smaller Gilles Simon in a 4+ hour match the other day...

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    1. Looks like a doping suspension can do magic to your career afterall !!
      Players should consider it more often, no? No need to be afraid of Miller...

      Of course, wrist injury or knee problems are always an option, too.

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    2. I am curious why all of the Croats are 6'4" or more (Lubicic, Ivanisavic, Ancic, Cilic). HGH ?

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    3. Cilic's serve has gotten even stronger and he is having the time of his life. The match against Fed will be a tight one, it's hard to break a big server's serve, Fed will have to be patient and to serve exceptionally well to win this one. I predict tie breakers and whoever serves more consistent will win this.

      As for the tall Croats, according to the stats Dutch are the tallest in Europe - I guess it just means they scout for tall Croatian kids with a big serve rather than the delicate artsy type with a huge variety of shots... as the US does ... so boring.

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    4. It's disgusting seeing Cilic get to the semifinals.

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    5. @Seeya, I agree but no more disgusting than Nadal winning 14 grand slams. At least Cilic doesn't act up on court. His major weapon is his serve. Like t_k says he will be hard to break but Fed has an arsenal of other weapons at his disposal. Fed needs to serve well and the rest will fall into place hopefully. I am amazed that Cilic is playing so well after a suspension. You'd think they're over-testing him now but one never knows with this current testing program. Maybe he's trying to prove that he can play without doping, in other words it really was an error of judgment on his part.

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    6. @Lopi

      Oh, definitely. I wasn't mitigating the disgrace of Nadal at all. That's a special case of audacity in its own field.

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    7. I forgot to mention the tallest of the tall Croats. Ivo Karlovic. 6' 10".

      They ARE taking HGH there in Split.

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  15. Fed vs Monfils. A five set match and Federer looks fresh like a daisy. People would argue that it's because of his attacking style but the old man run even more than Djokovic or Murray yesterday.

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    1. Have been at both matches and to be fair this wasn't played with the same grinding intensity as the djok/murray match and Fed's previous rounds have all be quick and crucially at night. It will be really interesting though to see what his recovery is like for Cilic semi especially given the number of matches Fed has now played during this hard court swing.

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    2. Even so, Fed and Monfils played in mid-high intensity during 3 hours. Fed didn't even look tired. Murray and Djokovic played high intensity during 2 and they even stopped chasing balls during the next hour and a half.

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    3. Ah, the Boremen. Coming out of the woodwork once again on the heels of one of those improbable Federer victories to show us fedtards who refuse to acknowledge the obvious; that outlasting a younger opponent who has a history of giving up when the chips are down, and never “looking” tired, are proof of his egregious doping. Thank you for enlightening our ignorant minds. And I’m sure soon to be followed by a Bore-ing counter-argument in attempt to incite bickering. A reply to my post coming in 3….2….1….

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    4. I don't think this place is for the chlidish Fedtards vs Nadtards fights anymore. At least for me it's clear that Federer, Nadal, Murray and Novak have been doping or have doped throughout their careers and the evidence pops-out at different times. Nadal is the most obvious one, that much is clear. Federer able to keep up with obvious doped players like Nadal, Coria, Nalbandian, Cañas more than a decade ago should be evidence of doping too. That his perfect body began to be victim of his own age last year, just after the biological passport and now his miracolous injury-free return is a little suspicious as well, out-lasting players like Tsonga, Monfils on the way...

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    5. Mr Unknown, what are you doing here arguing with kids. You kniw much better than that, and you can easily spot that Federer's game was of such high intensity, while Djokovic's wasn't. Too bad we're just kids, and so we may believe what some Unknown stranger tells us more than what we saw with our own eyes.
      Stranger, if you really watched those games, I am really shocked at the weird processing of sensory information that goes on between your ears. Or perhaps it's not so dangerous, simply a bad case of bad faith?

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    6. Also, someone doping but not willing to make it obvious will pretend they're out od breath, or perhaps hurting.
      Someone not doping will not want to appear tired, to try to fool his oponent.
      Rather than believing what the faces show, let's look at what the body shows - how much you run, how quickly, how strong you hit, how long...

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    7. So, summarizing, you got insulted from my comment because I said Fed vs Nadal fights are childish and because I said Fed may be doping. Gotcha.

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  16. What do you guys think of Wozniacki's massive and unexpected come back since a few months? Her results are more and more impressive and she has just now qualified for the final of the US open, matching her best career result when she lost against Clijsters 5 years ago.

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    1. What do I think of Wozniacki's comeback? I think she bunts the ball around and gets lucky when her opponent cramps. Nothing much else. She seems as nervous and tentative as ever.

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    2. Too bad she won't have what it takes to win against that Dominatrix Williams.

      Another boring as hell final at the UO, yawn.

      Other than that, I hope she gets over her personal stuff and focuses on her tennis rather than running marathons.

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    3. I actually think training for the marathon has helped her fitness. Just a thought.

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    4. I'm wait and see on Wozniacki. As Lopi said, training for the marathon seems to have helped her fitness and speed. Also, once she and Rory McIlroy broke up, they both started doing better. Right now it's probably just her getting rid of a lot of distractions in her life and focusing fully on sports.

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    5. The ladies tournament is basically completed. Wozniacki is the champion. The "finals" is just an exhibition of "woman vs. MAN (Serena)". Or you could even say "tennis pro vs. DOPER". It's been like this for many years now.

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  17. Serena is going to blow Wozniacki off the court in the final, and we will get nothing but superlatives from the tennis "journalists". A women well into her thirties that is MUCH "better" (stronger) than the rest of the field.

    Nothing suspicious to see here. Move along.

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    1. Not only "better" and "stronger" but dominating as well. A 33 -year old woman who (allegedly) had major health problems at Wimbledon two months ago is rolling the field.

      Anyone out there who believes the fairy tale that Serena is clean probably also believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

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    3. For the past 10 years, whenever Miss Panic Room 2011 (Serena) is in the finals of a grand slam or any tournament, the tournament is basically DONE. The other finalist IS the champion because she is most likely a real woman/female athlete/tennis player. In this case with the 2014 US Open, Wozniacki is the champion due to being the last FEMALE standing.

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    4. @Seeya, what are you saying? There's no Santa Claus??? :_(

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    5. Seeya,

      Actually the Williams sisters are 34 and 32. Miss Panic Room turns 33 later this month.

      Crazy thing is no one has even reached 4 games yet in a set against her. She's outscored her much younger opponents 72 games to 26.

      I know the draw was somewhat gift wrapped for her, but still, we are supposed to believe this is normal???

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    7. OK, I checked Miss Panic Room's career stats. This is her 22nd slam final, but the FIRST TIME she's reached this point without losing 4 games in a set.

      In fact most of her slam wins included some dropped sets as well as tiebreaks here and there. Only in the last few years has she "peaked" in slams that she ultimately wins.

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    8. Here's another of her crazy stats.

      She's 22-3 in Slam semis, and 17-4 in Slam finals. Right when she faces her toughest opponents she is almost unbeatable. And 3 of those 7 Slam semi and final losses don't even really count because they came against the other Williams!

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    9. @Lopi:

      LOL. I like being the evil person who tells kids there is no Santa Claus :) (J/K - maybe)

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    10. Here's another crazy Williams stat:

      Venus is a more reasonable sounding 7-7 in Slam finals, but 6 of those 7 losses came to Miss Panic Room.

      Only 3 players have beaten a Williams in a slam final (besides each other). Hingis in 1997, Sharapova in 2004, and Stosur in 2011.

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    11. There is a pattern by the way. Once every 7 years, a Williams loses to a non-Williams in a Slam final.

      The next time (if the pattern holds) will come in 2018.

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  18. http://www.cyclisme-dopage.com/actualite/2014-07-25-lemonde-fr.htm

    Actually, you will note here that TdF winner Vincenzo Nibali measured at 417 watts. By way of comparison, Lance Armstrong measured 406 watts in 1999. Floyd Landis measured 395. So this year's clear TdF winner was stronger than the disgraced doping non winners from 1999-2006. Yeahright.

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  19. If you go to SnR's twitter feed (link at top) - he puts a quote up there from CIlic saying that he (Cilic) doesn't think doping is a problem in tennis. He also defends Troicki. It would be a laugh riot if it wasn't so pitiful.

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  20. I'm actually baffled by the hilarious stupidity on display by various commenters.

    I mean, do you have any idea how stupid you would appear if you said these things in public?

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