Archive for September, 2013

Where is the who’s who in tennis?

Can’t believe that Giants is 0-3!
Anyway, the former NHL player, goaltender Garth Snow who finished his career with the Islanders is on Golfer’s ice hockey team. No, he is NOT playing the goaltender, that would not be fair. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason is also on Golfer’s ice hockey league. Now I’m looking around my little tennis league, where is who’s whos???

Giants (0-3) is playing at Kansa City Missouri. OMG, I can’t believe that the entire stadium becomes a red sea – everyone dressed in their team color. Sounds like a totalitarian regime -:) … shows how crazy/serious they’re about football. Thank god I’m in New York

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11 and 12-year-old Venus & Serena Williams

on Trans World Sport; Published on Dec 10, 2012

In 1992, Trans World Sport headed to Florida to meet up with the Williams sisters who were then just 11 and 12 years old.

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A sunny day

The weather in New York has been so good. A little rain, ok, a decent rain yesterday and last night has washed the earth clean. The trees and grass, after the taxing sun of the summer are bit dull but they perked up under the morning light. 秋高气爽 Crispy autumn air is just wonderful.

Sept 22, 2013

Sept 22, 2013

I haven’t played with Sunny in a few years. Given my two months long hiatus I was hesitated to say yes. But Sunny is Sunny. He calls, Irene jumps.

I was only two minutes late, his text is already in “Are you coming?!”

After brief warm up, Sunny couldn’t wait to start the game. The park is very quiet, I occasionally see a few morning walkers pass by. I said to Sunny,

“I can’t serve and can not run.”

Hoping that he doesn’t have any expectations, or has it but low. During the match, of course I keep hitting to the man. Is “I have no control .. IF I were having so much control, I’d be a 4.0!” still a valid excuse? It sounds stale to me but nevertheless, its true in my case. The male player has kick second serve that goes wide to the left, which Sunny reminded me repeatedly. I was playing the ad court. After being aced a couple of times on the second serve, Sunny fed up. He walked over to baseline by the ally, using the head of his racket and draw circle on the har-tru: “stay here.”

Boy, doesn’t he look like a dog owner?

Thank goodness perhaps the nice weather, or long absence from tennis that I had time to reflect or digest, I played well. Perhaps my physical limitation (hurts..) now that I use my brain more? I know for sure that I only treasure my body parts when that part is injured or in pain. In any case, we won convincingly 3 and 1 over a 7.5 mixed team.



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Li Na 湖北辟谣:未强迫李娜打全运 30万买自由无中生有

Li Na: 近日,某媒体引用了著名体育解说员黄健翔在一档谈话节目中提到一个段子,湖北体育局许诺30万元的奖金,强令李娜参加12运会;李娜的回复是:“我给你30万,别缠着我行吗?”于是乎,全运会出现了这样的荒唐事——明知道李娜不会参赛,湖北队还是要给娜姐报名,只为钻规则的空子,利用李娜的WTA排名,使湖北女队成为种子。对于此事,昨天晚上,扬子晚报记者采访了湖北省网球管理中心主任李理仁,李主任的回复是:“无中生有!”扬子晚报记者 刁勇 殷小平 张晨瑆(本报沈阳电)

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Li Na vs Serena, II

Li Na is facing off Serena in the 2013 US Open semi final. Their last grand slam encounter was also on the center court, Wimbledon 2010, on youtube.

My daughter turned 16 that summer and she wanted to have her Sweet 16 at Wimbledon. So London it was. We first took in another Les Miserables at Her Majesty’s Theatre to celebrated my son’s birthday. Yes, I’ve many children and many birthdays during the summer. Nick Jonas played the roll of Marius. Even before the show started, many female and few male fans (about 30 or so) gathered at the back entrance in hope to catch a glimpse of the young singer/actor. I was sure the scene would mushroom after the show.

Heading to Richmond

Heading to Richmond

Wimbledon tickets are notoriously difficult to get, they even run the lottery so I didn’t bother with it in advance. I took a chance which I thought was good, and as it turned out, it’s more than good.
The London Underground (commonly called Tube) green line is the Wimbledon line, should get off at Southfields (two stops before Wimbledon Station), then it’s a 10 minutes walk to the tennis complex known as the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, on a very residential street. The bus route 493 goes there too (see the insert at left). Of course there are taxis and limos and parking lots.

The area of Wimbledon is about 9 miles southwest of Trafalgar Square in London. The biggest draw is the annual tennis championship. The lesser known are the New Wimbledon Theatre and the huge open space (1,100 acres) Wimbledon Common.
Getting off the Tube at Southfields Underground Station we were greeted by crowds as well as many policemen who tried to keep the crowds in check, and direct the road-retards like me. The junction at the station, to the east side of the Wimbledon Park Road is Replingham Road which has many stores and coffee shops, and to the west is Augustus Road. We walked south on the Wimbledon Park Road. Shops dotted the first couple of blocks then became all houses and apartments. Although the footpath is narrow but it was very pleasant to walk, especially on the way to the championship. In the late afternoon or evening when everyone was leaving, the path on either side was overwhelmed.
The championship was well organized. Upon entering the complex, for those without a ticket, we were handed a numbered ticket to wait on the long line to buy a ticket. We had good time chatting with our neighbors. Along the way, there were loud speakers broadcasting the live actions we hoped to see. Two spots before us was a groups of young women having their girls day out. They completed the fun with luxurious lunch spread with champagne and caviar. A few spots behind us was a family whose three young sons displayed their acrobatic ability on the grass to entertain us. To avoid all day time line of course you can camp there over night with your own sleep bag or tent, and party. It took us three hours to reach the ticket booth. They didn’t take credit card, cash only. After 5 pm each day, the tickets sell at a reduced rate.
Exquisite was the word came to mind when we finally hit the ground, inside of the gate. It was crowded but not massive.
The following day we went before noon, the line was drastically short, about an hour long. On the third day which was the ladies quarter final, we went immediately after breakfast, there was no line to queue, straight to the ticket booth. The young women asked us,
“What kind of ticket would you like?”
I looked at my daughter, wanting to know if she had a preference.
Before she replied, the young woman offered,
“Would you like the Centre Court?”
Our eyes lights up. Her birthday present wrapped neatly and served on a silver plate.
“Of course.”
My wallet was £158 lighter but our seats were marvelous. The Centre Court is much smaller (15,000 seating capacity) than the monstrous Arthur Ashe (23,200 – at the top of the stadium, I wondered that if the spectators are in the airplanes from La Guardia airport.) Following Vera Zvonareva defeat Kim Clijsters (3-6 6-4 6-2) was Serena vs Li Na. The American disposed Sister Na 7-5, 6-3. The scores might suggest a close match but in fact Serena won relatively easy. After kiss off, they spoke under the chair empire for a prolonged time.
It was my first time watching Li played. I thought she’s at the end of her career or nearing it. However, 有志者事竟成 there is a will, there is a way. Less than a year later she would become the first Asian player to win a grand slam.
The trip was wonderful. My children now are attending the school of their choice. There is a will, there is a way.
Li Na lost the match at 0 and 3 just now. Brutal but it doesn’t diminish her effort to try at her best.


那年夏天我的女儿将满十六,她想去温布顿庆祝她的甜蜜16,所以我们去了伦敦。百老汇的“悲惨世界”在女王陛下剧院上演,( Nick Jonas )尼克乔纳斯饰演马吕斯(Marius)。正巧是我儿子的生日。哈哈,我有很多孩子,很多夏天的生日。在开演前,许多尼克的粉丝(约30左右)就已经聚集在后面的入口处希望可以瞥见他们的偶像。散场后那里的人群大了好几倍。


温布顿在伦敦的特拉法加广场 (Trafalgar Square)的西南约9公里的地方。她最出名的莫过于一年一度的网球赛。鲜为人知的是新温布顿剧院和1100亩大的温布顿公地 (Wimbledon Common)。伦敦地铁的绿线是温布顿线,坐到 Southfields(倒数第三站)下车,然后步行10分钟就可以到达全英草地网球和槌球俱乐部。巴士路线493也经过那里(请见插图入左)。当然也有出租车和豪华轿车和停车场。

温网组织的很好, 他们派发一个有编号的票给我们这些无票的人 排队买票。虽然我们足足等了三个多小时但是和前后的邻居们聊天,一路上都有直播广播陪伴。在我们面前的是几个年轻女性,豪华的午餐香槟和鱼子酱。在我们身后有家人三个儿子在草地上的刷杂技娱乐我们。为了避免白天等待, 当然也可以用睡袋或帐篷扎营过夜。三个小时过得很快。售票亭不收信用卡,只收现金。下午5点以后门票销售有折扣。精致是第一个词浮现在我脑海中。小巧精笼是第二个。白球衣绿草地,十分养眼。


我的荷包轻了158镑但我们的座位很好。温网的中心球场只有15,000 个座位,比美网的 23,200 个座位小得多。视觉很舒服。 由于美网近机场,我常常分不清坐在最上面的观众是否刚刚从天上的飞机里掉下来的。第二场比赛是李娜对小威。那是我第一次看李娜,虽然比分挺接近的,但事实上,小威赢得相对容易。打完后她们在网边聊了很久 我还以为她就要退休了。

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US Open 2013

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Li Na on her knees

SCMP by Agence France-Presse

China’s fiery tennis superstar Li Na heads into next week’s US Open eyeing a second Grand Slam crown but with questions over her temperament mounting in Chinese media after two furious outbursts.

Winning the 2011 French Open title sealed Li’s place as the country’s tennis darling as 116 million people at home tuned in to watch her become Asia’s first Grand Slam singles champion.

I lost a game and that’s it. Do I need to get on my knees and kowtow to them? Apologise to them?
But the world number six, now a veteran at 31, has developed a reputation as a prickly character in a nation where sports stars typically keep their emotions strictly in check after years in the rigid state sports training system.

After her second-round exit at the French Open and her quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon, Li turned on Wang Zijiang of official news agency Xinhua when he asked if she had a message for fans back home.

“I lost a game and that’s it. Do I need to get on my knees and kowtow to them? Apologise to them?” she snapped in Paris.

A month later at Wimbledon, he asked the same question again. “How dare he? Doesn’t he have any shame?” said Li, who trained as a journalist herself in her 20s.

Her reaction prompted widespread denunciations on China’s hugely popular microblogging sites. “Losing the game is OK, you can win it next time. What you really need to improve is your courtesy and behaviour,” said a poster with the username Dibayin.

Li, who reached the final of this year’s Australian Open, has developed an individualistic style not common in China since she opted out of government control in 2008, enabling her to choose her own coaches and keep most of her winnings.

Her supporters have spoken before of the intense pressure she faces as China’s only top tennis player, and her performance at tournaments is closely monitored by Chinese media, who are largely unfamiliar with dealing with athletes who confront aggressive questioning.

Nonetheless her comments would be unusual for Western sports stars, who are often mindful of their image and the commercial endorsements that depend on it.

Wang, a London-based sports reporter for Xinhua, said that her response had “shocked” him, and that she had “definitely overreacted”.

Li was such a prominent figure in China and so important to most media outlets that she could often choose which questions to answer, he added.

“Many can only ask questions which please her, and this allows Li Na to confront the media and gives her a feeling of looking down on them,” he said.

“Li Na has been spoiled in this media environment. When she answers to the media, she is not professional, she really is childish.

“And being faced with direct questions from Xinhua – whose purpose is not to gain attention and improve newspaper sales – her sensitive self-esteem cannot cope.”

Zhang Rongfeng, one of Xinhua’s top sports commentary writers, said Li had a “weakness of character”.

“When she wins a game, she has a better attitude and is nice to the media. But if she loses, she transfers her bad temper from the tennis court,” he said.

It is a far cry from the heroine-worship of 2011, when Li was praised as a pioneer for Chinese tennis after her victory at Roland Garros, widely considered to have helped the sport become the third most watched in the country.

She defied Chinese convention by getting a tattoo – a red rose – on her chest and earlier this year graced the cover of Time magazine, in which US tennis legend Chris Evert praised her as a “maverick”.

But her outspoken views have sparked controversy before, most notably when she claimed she was not “here for the country” in a tournament last year.

The “self v country” row played out on Chinese social media resulted in a widely reposted internet rumour that authorities in her hometown of Wuhan were to remove a bronze statue of her from the local “Walk of Fame”.

But some Chinese reporters say the media should respect Li’s personality.

“Both sides need to step back a little bit to see the picture here because Li Na is the one player we have who is capable of doing great in tournaments,” said Liu Renjie, who covers tennis for Sina, one of China’s top internet news portals, and has interviewed her on many occasions.

“Sometimes we need to maybe take it easy, and not put so much pressure or criticism on her so we can ease the tension.”

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Dress at 2013 US Open

What do they wear to the Open on FB
Serena and Patrick
this one Serena wore at matches were not as nice than this blue, perhaps her practice outfit.

an 8-inch circumference right above the flank

More pix here

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