Archive for May, 2009

A Stupid Question

There was a little tense moment at French Open’s 3rd round match between Serena Williams vs a Spanish player, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez: first set (2:2), Serena was serving at 30:40. Martinez Sanchez charged the net and was hit by Williams’ return. The ball first bounced off Sanchez’s right arm (she’s lefty) .. and the chair umpire awarded the point to Sanchez (she took it!) who ultimately won the first set at 6:4. But lost the match. And her name.

In tennis, when the ball touches the player, the point is over and he/she loses the point.

It’s totally unsportsmanlike.

It’s totally against the spirit of tennis.

Here is what I’m thinking: Martinez Sanchez may have an impressive long name, but she isn’t going to be anything in tennis, other than a 40-something ranked journeyman. She will never win a slam. The only high point of her career – her moment under the sun or 2 seconds of fame, might have been this one, playing against a multiple grand slam winner Serena. IF I were Sanchez, I’d tell chair umpire that the ball hit me and it’s Serena’s point. Play it fair and you’ll be remembered for it, for the rest of your life. Instead, she cheats: took the point without blinking her eyes.

I knew the feeling being hit on the court: for the first second, I feel angry (not at the player, more at myself), after all, you’re hit. But the next second, I congratulate the player: not being a sucker but for a job well done. And telling myself to move, and to be agile – IF I were quick or light on my feet, I wouldn’t have been hit in the first place. The hit sometimes can be painful and often leaves bruises. But rule is rule. Fairness is the name of the game.

She’ll be forever remembered as the cheating girl – and a loser. Any wise girl would behave and play it right and fair. What’s so telling was at press conference, she denied the ball had hit her. When a reporter called out that the video showed clearly the ball had bounced off her right arm, she dismissed it as “A Stupid Question.”

Oh ya right. Dumb people are everywhere, even in tennis.

Anyone still remember that white turkey .. who bumped into Venus? What happened to her? I’m sure she’s no body .. still ..

And how about the final Pete Sampras against Andre Agassi when Pete wasn’t feeling well and Andre graciously agreed to delay the match .. very classy, even he ultimately lost it to Pete.

Ok, fess up: I cheat. Since Serena’s match was delayed, so I checked the score after the hitting incident because I really could not bear to watch injustice .. .. I felt great whenever Serena lashed out her powerful shots at that cheater: beat her and pound her to the cheating hell.

Serena offered her hand to the cheater and chair umpire at the conclusion of the match. Nice and neat. I’ll hate to repeat myself .. I don’t care about Richard Williams but he and his wife surely brought up two very well balanced, happy girls. Serena’s outfit/color is pretty, far better looking than Venus‘, Ana (Ivanovic)‘s and Maria (Sharapova)‘s .. .. Some girls just don’t know how to dress..

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Fish soup in Masaya market

After tennis and downtown Granada, we had lunch at Masaya market on Sunday in Nicaragua. We were the only eaters. Seven adults with a 6 years old. The bill came at US$122. The fish soup was good.


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Nadal and the attached strings

Rafael Nadal is pounding the earth with Hewitt, taped delayed. He wears yellow bands, pink shirt and grey short. And he still fudges with his G-string. Might be it’s time to introduce him to C-string? Raf hasn’t changed much over the years, still very humble and energetic; a small town boy, intense but donw to earth. How long can he last on the tour?

I thought of Tiger who’s bit sneaky, in a way: he’d look around without turning his head and has that kind of smirk on his face just telling everyone else in his vicinity that he’s just that tad better then the rest of us.
I also thought of Tiger’s mother who claimed Tiger had suffered discrimination on his way up, due to his skin color – I once saw it on a TV interview, briefly. I couldn’t actually believe it.
This country appreciates talent, color of skin comes second or third, if it comes at all. Ya, we all see colors, but that stops there pretty much. See how much courtesy this country is bestowing on Michelle Obama?

Nice pictures for the first lady. How much have they been workshopped? Btw .. did anyone see Maria Sharapova’s facial skin? Terrible .. I always consider Anna K is prettier .. who cared that K never won a match? I just want to be entertained for few hours 🙂

In this Time article, By Nancy Gibbs and Michael Scherer claimed that Michelle has more fun than Laura Bush. I found that assertion is presumptuous. Where is the evidence? What made them think that Laura didn’t have fun as the First Lady? And How Do You Measure happiness and fun-ness?

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The French Open

This year’s top ranking players for the Open ..
Men: Nadel, Federer, Murray and Djokovic
Women: Safina, Serena, Venus and Dementieva

Venus is out already. The sisters are playing the doubles at the moment: 2:6, 6:1 and Serena is serving at 4:1. Seeing them over powering the other set of girls, I feel good. Sorry for being chicken and biased. I just want to see the Americans win. Seeing the skinny chicks could handle the sisters’ power, I feel good too: the over all level of game and fitness have improved since the Martina Navratilova era.

The net works should broadcast more doubles games.

P.S. The sisters won, 6:2.

Mary Carillo and Pamela Shriver commented on how unpopular the sisters are in France. .. .. Why worry? What does the Frenchy know? 🙂 They don’t know the good stuff even you presented to them.

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China’s Sun shining in Japanese basketball league

Sun Mingming is a little man that measures only 7’9” short.
Not sure it’s good for the basketball game: fineness vs freak show.
I think people would like to see a normal man to compete, not overly gifted. The Avery rule shows the same sentiment. What’s fair is fair. Human couldn’t go against the Neanderthal!

“It’s surreal,” says 6-foot-8 forward Lynn Washington, a two-time MVP in Japan. “You can’t really do much because he’s so big. He just holds the ball up in the air and it looks like a tennis ball.”
Sun’s resume even includes an appearance in the 2007 comedy Rush Hour 3 with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. After appearing in the fight scene, he said he’s more interested in basketball than Hollywood.

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Backhand n forehand

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May 24, 2009 May 24, 2009

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Watching TV ..


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Relaxing after a game

After Pumpkin’s lacrosse game, the opposing team (perhaps had to wait for their bus) began to have fun in the gym .. ..

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Kathryn Gould

Kathryn Gould is a ‘serious violinist, painter and pilot, and a frivolous boogie boarder’, in her own words. She’s best known for being one of the country’s most accomplished VCs – venture capitalists. She was the employee #10 in Oracle as its first vice president of marketing in 1982, said that “Every CEO I back has to have a little piece of Larry Ellison in him.”

Michael Lewis explained in a layman’s language the difference between VC and IB – investment banker (in 1997), he used Gould as an example, and tennis tournament too:

The third possible explanation for why Gould is paid tens of millions of dollars to do a job that lots of smart people would do for half as much is the most interesting. It explains equally well (or poorly) the outrageous salaries paid to CEOs and the vast bonuses earned by Wall Street bond traders. It grows out of work done over the past 15 years by a pair of professors at Stanford who live in the shadow of the venture capitalists. Their names are Edward Lazear and Sherwin Rosen. Their theory is called the “tournament theory.”

Put aside the usual question of whether someone is being paid what she is worth. The tournament theory holds that it is sometimes efficient, and in some sense right, to pay people far more than they are worth.

Start with the example of the professional tennis tournament. Players are paid not for their absolute value but for their relative value. If Pete Sampras plays better than Andre Agassi he wins, no matter whether both of them were playing well or playing poorly. So how do you use money to motivate a tennis player? The answer is obvious: Pay the winner more than the loser. The greater the difference between the loser’s paycheck and the winner’s paycheck, the harder the players will try. The only limit is that the loser’s paycheck must be big enough to guarantee that they both show up in the first place.
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