Monday, October 22, 2018

Wimbledon Watchers, Don't Spill the Beans

By Jean Kirshenbaum, Sarasota, FL
This article was posted on on 7/1/18

Here we are at Wimbledon once again. It’s a time when thoughts turn to tea leaves in England and coffee beans in America and around the world.

Regardless of your preference, tennis fans everywhere too often spill the beans (coffee or otherwise) about game scores, sets won and match results.

 It’s just a maddening travesty of fan sportsmanship, don’t you agree? Few fans can tolerate such an outrage—especially me. Rather than be informed of match status, I’d prefer to drink the tea and read tea leaves to predict winners, than to know them before I have actually seen the match.

So, unlike NPR’s amusing game of “wait wait, don’t tell me,” for serious tennis fans who can’t go to England, but must watch on television—albeit with pleasure at home or in a sports bar, it’s not a radio program game. Rather a precarious reality of SHHH SHHH don’t dare tell me anything—about game score, sets won, or even who’s playing.

In other words, if you want to keep your tennis playing friends and relatives, tennis fans must adhere to THE RULE: Don’t spill the beans. Don’t divulge any information, intentional or inadvertently. I may not yet have had a chance to watch my recording or to see a replay. Keep it yourself. Not a whisper. Shut up!

Here’s a recent example of a rule violation, so agonizing and so funny, I was nearly in tears from both.

The Text Menace

Although I was really ticked off at first, I presumed my dear friend Mara had broken THE RULE, which she had never heard of and knew nothing about.

Mara (just a few years in as fan of pro tennis compared to my 30+years, but just as avid. So she is relatively new to our world.) It was the first round of the French Open when Mara texted me during Serena‘s match with Krystina Pliskova, possibly a favorite, given Williams’ rust.

“Serena isn’t looking good,” she texted.

“God no” I thought, “Is she going out in the first round?!” Oh, this can’t be.” And why is she telling me this when she knows I am out and not watching, but probably recording the match?

What else else could I assume but that she was referring to Serena’s playing and the match score, and I was really ticked off. I didn’t want to know anything until I could see it for myself on my recording or a television replay, which, as I will explain later, carries its own dangers. I arrogantly texted Mara quickly to educate her about “THE RULE” in tennis that prohibits talking about scores, games, sets and match results.

“Rule? What rule?” Mara asked. I wanted to cry. “THE RULE, I texted, is: “Before referring to any game or set scores or match results, or even who is playing, by text or other means of communication (texting is the most dangerous.) you must first ask ‘Are you watching’?” Oh, I said, it’s too damn complicated; (it’s hard to express annoyance in a text) I’ll call you to explain,” and I did just that-before she could make things worse.

I tearfully but clearly explained THE RULE (which I have myself created based on decades of painful experiences with current and former friends, and one guy in Naples, FL, Alex, who, because I have broken the rule more than once, has left me hanging on by a thread as his first cousin. Now when I ask him, “Are you watching?” he usually replies “No, recording.” I can detect his veiled threat—even in a text.

Said Mara: “But I wasn’t talking about how she was playing. I was talking about how she looked in her tennis cat suit”, I agreed and then we howled with laughter when we realized our faulty cross communication when in desperation I had called her in a flash to tell her about “THE “RULE” and tennis fan “protocol.”

Let me now tell you about the other near RULE disaster when I got a phone call from my friend Anne while I was driving to see my psychologist.

Anne and I have known each other for decades. Although I know I can trust her to follow THE RULE, she was breathless.. I gripped the wheel tightly in fear, waiting for the racket to strike. No need. As I said, Anne knows THE RULE.

“Are you watching the match?” She asked appropriately.

“No I’m on my way to see a sports psychologist,” I said with relief. “Why are you seeing a sports psychologist?”

“Well, as you know, I’ve never been a great player and now I’m getting worse and losing confidence."

“Maybe” she said with good intention, “instead of going to a sports psychologist you should see tennis pro.”

Thanks, my reliable friend, for that sage advice, “Oops, gotta go, Gary is calling,” I Iied. I couldn’t wait to hang up.

But, I couldn’t stand it; I had to know. I waited a few minutes, called her back and apologized for the short call. I gave in.

“Ok. Who’s playing? “Nadal.” “Who is he playing and what’s the score?”

As you know by now, I want to know nothing about a match if I’m not watching it, but in this case I gave myself the luxury of breaking THE RULE, only because there is no mystery when Nadal is on clay. He was likely to win.

 So how can you protect yourself against spilled beans?

• First, you should not look at any texts on your cell phone. Do not answer the phone, cell or landline. Better yet, put the cell in in a drawer or under the mattress, and set the read-out setting to off.

• You must also avoid looking at email, since invariably, if matches have been completed before you have watched your recording, an email from a tennis site will spill the beans in a subject line: “Coric Feeds on Federer at Halle” or “Serena gorges on Goerges”. In fact, I take pride in the fact that I browbeat Tennis Now to change its ways, and convinced the editor to write neutral headlines that no longer spill the beans.)

• If you go out while recording tennis and go out, switch to another station, just for insurance. Why? Because as soon as you walk in the door, as I do, you risk what you have tried so hard to avoid—spilled beans. Although what’s on may be well beyond the match you have been recording, it’s likely match results crawl on the bottom of the screen, even worse, the commentators will provide updates on previous matches. I had no one to blame but myself for this: I had recorded the Wozniacki vs. Konta match at Eastbourne. That match was long over when I turned on TV only to see a large graphic of the draw, which indicated the next round for the Woz had won and that that she would next play Barty. How could I have been so unthinking? Wishfully, I freed up some DVR space by deleting the 220 minutes I had recorded on that oddball beIN Channel, which, is now the default channel for most WTA matches

• Finally, Take it from me, Shhh and beware should be your everyday words during any tennis tournament, for . I have learned the hard way.

At this point, it is just to confess to my readers (if I have any at this point) that I myself broke THE RULE.
Take it away Mara, the reformed tennis text criminal. I paid her back, although inadvertently.

Here’s how it went down: One morning I texted Mara to see if she was watching the Federer-Kudla match. Before I texted her, I read her previous message in our thread, which said “shucks, we have to leave.”

She obviously wasn’t watching the match; she had left home. Wasn’t it safe to tell her that that Federer won. Absolutely not.

She replied “Wait, you weren’t supposed to tell me.” Clearly, Mara had proved to be an excellent student. She gently applied THE RULE.

O my god, what was I thinking? Your arrogant beans professor broke THE RULE. I had accidentally spilled the beans Sheepishly, I apologized and she forgave me. I promised her ice cream (Stay tuned because that’s a hint for my next installment, “Chocolate Vanilla or Strawberry.”)

That brings me to Michele, my college roommate, who dodges THE RULE altogether, except when she is watching tennis live. Thus, little worry about spilling the beans to Michele, who doesn’t seem to care about my silly rule.

“But Michele, I insist, tennis isn't only about scores and match results. Just think about the fantastic shot making, the fist pumps and the tears, the silly lying down on the court in victory and those small, dramatic moments that are so telling."

One of my favorite moments was the pre-match warm up of Federer and Raonic at their Stuttgart final. The high-energy Milos Raonic was swinging his racket in the air and dancing right and left across the net from Federer, who, at 36, is the Old King Cool of tennis. The 6’4” Raonic was bouncing around like a jumping bean.

For a moment, Federer interrupts his steady gaze across the net and then, and then and then? He looks down at his racket, and then? In a moment of delicious drama, he neatly adjusts a single string. Possibly a subtle put down? I would never want to miss such a poignant moment. In fact I replayed it several times, just to savor the dignity of the moment. The match couldn’t be as good. And, for me, it wasn’t.

On the other hand, my friend Aimee, wouldn’t miss a match, and has even listened to it on the radio. Hunh? Yup, you read that right. On her drive from Florida’s’ west coast to the east coast, she asked me to look up the ESPN station number on Sirius Radio, so she could listen to the match. Otherwise, said the New York native, fawgeddit, I give in. “Who’s winning?”

After all, who has hours and hours to watch tennis? I admit that I sometimes bend or ignore THE RULE. I sometimes fast forward through matches, stopping to watch if the score reaches a deuce or an ad point, and otherwise looks interesting or exciting. Then I move on to the next instance of interest.

Speaking of rules, My USTA rule book, coffee stained and dog eared, is a lengthy 114 pages. Tennis rules can be extremely complicated, counter intuitive, and just plain silly. Nevertheless, I would like to increase the book to 115 pages by adding my own brief, uncomplicated rule regarding pro tennis on TV. You got it! SHHHH.. DON’T SPILL THE BEANS

Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry or Coffee?

By Jean Kirshenbaum | Sarasota, FL 10/22/18, 2018



It wasn’t all strawberries and cream for Serena Williams and Roger Federer,but the folks at Wimbledon, especially the American commentators, as usual, made a big deal of the strawberries and cream tradition.

This dessert is generally a fan favorite, but not to sports journalist Jon Wertheim. Who in 2017 wrote in Sports Illustrated a disparaging piece under this headline:

Wimbledon is truly a treasure, but its classic strawberries and cream snack is not.

What about ice cream--the best alternative? In fact, after signing a five-year deal with the Lawn Tennis Association, the tournament’s organisers, Haagen-Dazs has been named the Official Ice Cream of The Wimbledon Championships.

“Haagen-Dazs is proud to be the Official Ice Cream of Wimbledon. As the luxury ice cream brand of choice for both Wimbledon and British Tennis, there’s no better way to indulge yourself whilst enjoying moments of sporting greatness on the court!"

I should warn you, I’m with Wertheim. Don’t give me strawberries and cream. Give me ice cream, but not the official ice cream of Wimbledon, Haagen-Dazs, which tastes of too much butter fat to me.

This brand was all the craze a few decades ago, when Americans thought it was a Danish product. But –Who knew? It’s an American brand, established by
Reuben and Rose Mattus in the Bronx, New York, in 1961.

Starting with only three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and coffee, the company opened its first retail store in Brooklyn, New York, of all places, a locale not all that far from Flushing Meadows, home of the US Open.

Strawberries and cream have been associated with Wimbledon since its inception in 1877, and soon the dish became synonymous with the tournament. So much so that each year, says Wertheim, we get a barrage of “… meaningless statistics about the volume sold…”—usually in tons.

As silly as this may seem, there are even recipes for this simple dish. “You want to keep the strawberries shape for a nice presentation .After removing the leaves, take a small paring knife and cut around the white part so that a ‘cone’ shape of the core is removed and from the side, the strawberries still look perfectly intact.” In the world-famous words of John McEnroe, “YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS”

What is interesting about the recipe is that most people outside of Great Britain probably don’t know that the cream is not whipped or sweetened. The thick, cold cream is simply drizzled over the sweet strawberries and eaten that way.

Wertheim, however takes great pleasure in maligning, not eating, strawberries and cream, which he describes as merely “a bowl with a few lonely berries swimming in pinkish milk …”

Poor snack, says Wertheim and a silly recipe, in my opinion. Isn’t it a matter of just cutting off the green top? There is even an idio-video to show you how.

So now, I am eager to leave the pretentious topic of strawberries and cream and turn to the ordinary, everyman topic of ice cream. Before I do that, however, I must tell you this about strawberries and cream. I recently meant an English woman who has been to Wimbledon many times. So I asked her: "Do people at Wimbledon really eat strawberries and cream?"   "Yes," said. "But you would never find it on a dessert menu." Ha- so there!

I believe that ice cream is a much better use of cream than strawberries and cream. We here in hot and humid Sarasota, FL. prefer ice cream. It’s cheap and delicious.

Ice cream is especially important to my friend Mara and me, because we bet on matches and the stakes are ice cream at Abels, our favorite ice cream parlor. Hands down. Abels has the best ice cream in town. Coffee is their best seller, which would make the Mattus family proud. (For packaged ice cream I would recommend Breyer’s Chocolate Truffle, and Turkey Hill, which began in Pennsylvania “a long long time ago’’ with, of all flavorsstrawberry! )

By the way, did you know that Tennis is one of the most bet upon sport in the world? I’m not going any deeper into this topic, because it’s controversial and my betting expertise doesn’t go beyond ice cream.

Oddly, our format is Winner buys! In fact our chivalrous husbands, Gary and Tom, usually rush to the register to pay, and we let them. Yes, there is no feminism when it comes to ice cream. And there are no losers. (As an aside, Gary won’t bet a nickel on anything. Ice cream/ tennis is his one exception.)

Mara and I have now bet on so many matches- rounds one through finals-- in so many tournaments that we don’t even know who is ahead in wins. For Wimbledon, we have tried to limit our wagers to semis and finals. But we did give in few times and wagered on earlier rounds. I lost on the Kerber-Ostapenko match and also the Williams-Goerges match. Truth be told, I didn’t expect Serena to get to the quarters, let alone the final.

And what about the finals?

Mara’s take will be a chocolate ice cream soda. For the sake of tradition, I may go with a strawberry sundae with whipped cream.

The guys, of course, will buy the ice cream, so now it’s just the glory of picking the winners. If we can’t split our bets, we will just have to start over again with the U.S. Open.

I dunno, Mara, I think we have to choose a different gambling format for the Open. Wagers only on the finals. With all that ice cream during Wimbledon, I’ve gained 4 pounds. Was it worth it? Hell, yeah.

Seated at the Tennis Table, Please Pass the Accolades

10/22/18, Sarasota FL
 By Jean Kirshenbaum
This article was posted on on 7/13/18
After my stroke 15 years ago. I was back on the tennis court in just three months. I was not playing my former aggressive game but I was back, which is what was important, Over the 15 years since, I recovered my serve after many, many hours of practice to a point where it was better than it had been.
 I have been so grateful to have  found players at my new level (from 3.0 to down about 2.5 2.75!), and somehow I  have  managed to almost hold my own  in doubles clinics .I told everyone about my stroke, not for pity, but by way of explanation and apology for my poor mobility. Some players felt sorry for me, some were annoyed to play with someone who could hardly run for balls, and many, they oohed and ahhed about how I was so courageous and an inspiration. They heaped these accolades upon me, and I was both embarrassed and encouraged.
Unfortunately, I now face a challenge that is even bigger than my stroke. Oddly, one day I was fine, and woke up the next with poor balance and little mobility, and I began fall for no reason. When I try to step forward with my left leg, it seems as though someone has tied rope around my ankle and won’t let go…as if my foot is stuck in concrete. This is called gait freeze and can sometimes be a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, I have not played tennis for the past 7
Tom Eckhartd
My dear friend Tom Eckhardt, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. With Parkinson’s, exercise is essential to maximize mobility. So, with great courage, in my opinion, he took up tennis!  I met him and his wife, Mara, last year and you would never even know he has this condition. He told me about it quietly while we were sitting on a bench at the tennis court waiting got out our turn rotate in. I nearly fell off the bench. You would never know unless he told you, especially because he plays tennis. Who has Parkinson’s’ disease and plays tennis?!
Mara Eckhardt
Tom is a big, quiet and gentle guy, whose long legs move him around the court pretty well-- 4-5 times a week – in matches and in clinics. When you play against him he is definitely a factor. His lovely sweet wife has become one of my closest friends. Thinking about my own condition, Mara said to me: “I knew we came into each other’s lives for a reason.” We are not at all alike, but in addition to a love of tennis, we have one other thing we have in common. We both adore love ice cream.
So many players come back from a variety of injuries and illnesses and other circumstances that have knocked them down. Who is more admirable than Venus Williams, who, despite her sjogren’s syndrome, has clawed her way back into the top 10, where she lives today. What about Juan Martin DelPotro, who is back at the top of the game after three wrist surgeries. Serena Williams, who reached the Wimbledon final after being out after 18 months of giving birth, at a risk to her own life?  (I never thought she would get past the third round)And Bethanie Mattek Sands, who many thought would never play again after one the most horrific injuries ever seen on a tennis court—a dislocated knee at least year’s Wimbledon. Five surgeries later? Back on court at the French Open.
And remember, too, doubles specialist Corina Morariu who, In May 2001, was diagnosed with an advanced form of acute myelogenous leukemia and found herself in the match of a lifetime. After a grueling regimen of chemotherapy, Corina returned to competitive tennis 16 months after her diagnosis. She was named the WTA Tour Comeback Player of the Year in 2002, but the effects of the leukemia lingered. On the court, she struggled to come to terms with the cancer and two subsequent shoulder surgeries that diminished her physical capabilities as a tennis player. Off the court, she struggled to redefine herself in the wake of her trauma. She later reappeared as an excellent television commentator
These pros, and many others, have made spectacular comebacks, as do ordinary recreational players. You probably know many of these, or you yourself are a comeback player. For example, I know a woman in her 80s who has had 2 knee surgeries and shoulder surgery,
another with 2 knee surgeries; and woman with numbing and painful neurothopy in her feet, due to chemotherapy to treat her colon cancer. We had all missed Connie,
a small-ish woman under 5’4".  But eventually she came to back to us .Tiring easily and with very painful feet, she ran nimbly around the court and soon returned to her previous level of play. A love of tennis brings us all back.
 Unlike the orthopedic injuries of pros and seniors, however, who do or do not make a comeback with time, expert treatment, and exhausting struggle, Parkinson’s disease simply happens to you, like Venus Williams Sjogren’s syndrome. Like Venus and so many other players we define as comebacks, it’s not only a matter of coming back, it’s even more important to earn your way forward.  Since Tom had never played tennis before, I would say he’s earning his way forward now, just as had Venus Williams, and I had done following my stroke. Tom astonishes me. He has become my hero, and I want to pay tribute, and pass on to him the accolades, support and love that so many players have given me...
What is next for us?  My goal is to be Tom’s doubles partner and crush ‘em!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

U.S. OPEN: I'M READY... ARE YOU? (by Jean Kirshenbaum)

It’s another U.S. Open and I’m ready. Are you? You say: “Whadaya mean—am I ready? Am I entered in the tournament, or something? Do I need to practice? What do I need to be ready for?”

No, no, no. Wrong, wrong, wrong. As a tennis fan, you do have to get ready. And it’s not too late.

Here’s what I did:The very first thing? Search online for the TV schedule. Then I printed out two copies, stapled the two pages together, and taped one set to the bedroom dresser that holds the TV, and the other to the living room wall unit, which holds the other TV. I do this so that I can plan my life for the next two weeks? Plan my life? There is nothing to plan, (especially when you are UTF, an unemployed tennis fan; a position I have held for too long). The Open is televised just about all day and all evening. Who has time for other plans? If you want to watch, scroll down for the schedule.

But wait, there is something else I had to do.  I had set recordings, just in case there is a match I want to see but can't  for some reason, such as  leaving home to actually play tennis. If you can’t watch the day matches, they are usually repeated at night. If you are an online tennis reader, or get email from tennis sites, be careful.  You may not want to know match results before you watch your recording. I have a deal with my friend Roseann Williams, (who has written previously for Tennis Is Tops) not to discuss any results until I know that she knows what they are. I learned the hard way, didn't I Roseann?
In fact, I have written to several online editors to ask them not to reveal results in the subject lines of their email newsletters, which I get daily. Women’s Tennis Blog has complied and now uses the generic subject line: Women’s Tennis Blog Daily Update” instead of something like “Wozniacki out, Williams upset by qualifier.” What a relief. When my friend Richard (at left, with me in 2009) was editor of (now defunct), and later tennisnow, and now with,  I implored him not to do this, but he wouldn’t. So I had to do a workaround. I color-coded any email from tennis week and tennis now in red. Any time I saw a red email when I walked toward my computer, I knew to turn around and leave the room. He now works for, which doesn’t send out many newsletters. Nevertheless, whenever there is an email from Richard, I see red.
I engage in a few more activities to prepare for U.S. Open, which I do for all the Slams. Since, as my tennis buddies know, I generally read a lot about tennis online, including the pundits’ analyses and opinions about who’s going to win, who isn’t, how the top players might perform, and who might come from out of nowhere. The overwhelming picks this year are…drum roll…. Serena Williams (photo at left was on a practice court, 2009)  and Novak Djokovic. (I confess that my bias against him is evident with this unflattering photo below.)

Speaking of picks, you can pick ‘em all  yourself with Racket Bracket. This is an online contest sponsored by Tennis Channel, which asks you to pick the winner of every match, from first round through the final. You must submit this after the draws come out and before the matches begin, of course. ( I am the only person I know who ever does). Doesn't matter this year; it’s too late for you. You might not have bothered anyway. Picking winners for hundreds of matches is time consuming.(UTFs, of course, have the time.) And how can you possibly make a pick when the choices are qualifier A and Qualifier E? You just guess. So let’s talk more about the picks.
With Williams back on the scene after a year-long layoff due to foot injuries and clots in her lungs, many might wonder whether the former #1 is a strong contender.On the other hand, with three-time winner Kim Clijsters out because of injury, most of the pundits, as well as the odds makers, are picking Williams to win, although some are going with Maria Sharapova. Why Williams? Why not? She has won it three times (’99, ’02,’08), and her US Open match record is 52-8. Wow.  I want Serena to win, but I really think it will be some longshot further back on the track. 

Despite the fact that she lost Wimbledon this year, Williams has already won two other titles—Bank of the West Classic (Stanford, CA, 7/31) and the Rogers Cup (Toronto, 8/14). I don’t think she played her best in those tournaments-- not even close to her previous level-- but still she won, beating Marion Bartoli and Samantha Stosur. That raised her come-back ranking from 170 something to 29. There was noisy controversy about whether and how she would be seeded this year. Some felt that, given her successes, as well as the danger she can pose to the current crop of top players, she should have been seeded in the top 10. But seeding rarely goes against rankings, and some felt it wouldn't be fair to knock a player out of the top 10 seeds group. And it wouldn't be fair. However, in this case they made an exception and she is seeded 28. That means that she doesn’t risk being knocked out by a top player in the first round. And TV doesn’t risk basement-poor ratings. Well, that won’t happen. Her first-round opponent is a no-name Serbian, Bojana Jovanovski, age 20, whose career match record is 32-24. Her current rank is 54.

Enough said on this topic.

But what about the guys? Since I find the women’s tour so much more interesting (and spouse Gary does, too) I’m not going to say as much about the men. The big buzz, of course, is around #1 Novak Djokovic, who has lost just two matches this entire year (57-2) to two other likely champs, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, in addition to winning the Australian Open. And remember, Raphael Nadal won last year, and was #1 until the Djoker toppled him. Take a look at these other top 10 seeds to see who else is in the mix: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling, Gael Monfils, Thomas Berdych, and Nicolas Almagro. Just one American is among the top 10--Mardy Fish, seeded 8th. In case you didn’t know, Andy Roddick, who won the Open in 2003, and who was in the top 10 for as many years as Roger Federer, has been out of the top 10 for several months and is seeded just 21 this year!

What are your thoughts? Who are your picks? Are you ready yet? Leave a comment. I'll address them in my next article.
Although it's only Tuesday, I have just two days to get ready for Thursday, the day Gary and I will be at the Open. I have to check the weather, which is expected to be perfect. I have to pick out my clothes- pants, not shorts, because it's cold on the bus. And lots of pockets for money, camera and cell phone, to avoid the long wait at the security bag- check line. Those pants must go to the cleaners today! This is just personal trivia. For all the important news, go to  and

2011 US Open TV Schedule (USA)

(all times Eastern and coverage is live unless noted otherwise)

Monday, August 29

11a.m.-7 p.m. Early Round Action Tennis Channel*

1-7 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Early Round Action ESPN2

Tuesday, August 30

11a.m.-7 p.m. Early Round Action Tennis Channel*

1-7 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Early Round Action ESPN2

Wednesday, August 31

11a.m.-7 p.m. Early Round Action Tennis Channel*

1-7 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Early Round Action ESPN2

Thursday, September 1

11a.m.-7 p.m. Early Round Action Tennis Channel*

1-7 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Early Round Action ESPN2

Friday, September 2

11a.m.-7 p.m. Early Round Action Tennis Channel*

1-7 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2

Saturday, September 3

11a.m.-6 p.m. Third Round CBS

7-11 p.m. Third Round Tennis Channel

Sunday, September 4

11a.m.-6 p.m. Third Round/Round of 16 CBS

7-11 p.m. Third Round/Round of 16 Tennis Channel

Monday, September 5

11a.m.-6 p.m. Round of 16 Round CBS

7-11 p.m. Primetime Round of 16 ESPN2

Tuesday, September 6

11a.m.-7 p.m. Tennis Channel**

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Men’s Round of 16, Women’s Quarterfinals ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Men’s Round of 16, Women’s Quarterfinals ESPN2

Wednesday, September 7

11a.m.-7 p.m. Tennis Channel**

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Quarterfinals ESPN2

Thursday, September 8

11a.m.-7 p.m. Tennis Channel**

11 a.m.-7 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals ESPN2

7-11 p.m. Primetime Men’s Quarterfinals, Mixed Doubles Final ESPN2

Friday, September 9

12:30pm.-6 p.m. Mixed’s Doubles Final/Women’s SF CBS

Saturday, September 10

12-6 p.m. Men’s SF CBS

8 p.m.-10 p.m. Women’s Final CBS

Sunday, September 11

1-3 p.m. Women’s Doubles Final ESPN2

4 p.m.- 7 p.m. Men’s Final CBS

Sunday, June 19, 2011

WHO'S ON TOP AT WIMBLEDON 2011 by Jean Kirshenbaum

In the month preceding Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, June 20, (tomorrow) the buzz among the tennis pundits focused on how Serena Williams would be seeded at the tournament this year.
Seeding at most tournaments, including the Slams, traditionally goes according to player ranking. But because she hadn’t played tennis until last week, her ranking had dropped from #1 to #25. At Wimbledon 2011, she is seeded #8. I think that bumping her up to #8 is entirely appropriate. Although she hadn’t played tour tennis for almost a year, she has won Wimbledon four times, including the 2010 tournament, when she beat Vera Zvonerava, currently ranked #3 and seeded third. Venus Williams has been out for injury as well, and had dropped to # 33. A five-time Wimbledon winner, she is seeded 24. Top seeds for the men are the usual suspects, but there is one new name in the #2 spot- Novak Djokovic.  That means that while Nadal is seeded first, Federer, the former king of Wimbledon with 6 titles, is seeded third. Keep reading if you want to know the rest of the 64 seeds.

WOMEN’S SEEDS (WTA Tour rankings in parentheses)

1 Caroline WOZNIACKI (DEN) [1]


3 Vera ZVONAREVA (RUS) [3]

4 Na LI (CHN) [4]

5 Victoria AZARENKA (BLR) [5]

6 Maria SHARAPOVA (RUS) [6]

7 Francesca SCHIAVONE (ITA) [7]

8 Serena WILLIAMS (USA) [8]

9 Petra KVITOVA (CZE) [9]

10 Marion BARTOLI (FRA) [10]

11 Samantha STOSUR (AUS) [11]

12 Andrea PETKOVIC (GER) [12]

13 Svetlana KUZNETSOVA (RUS) [13]

14 Agnieszka RADWANSKA (POL) [14]

15 Anastasia PAVLYUCHENKOVA (RUS) [15]

16 Jelena JANKOVIC (SRB) [16]

17 Julia GOERGES (GER) [17]

18 Kaia KANEPI (EST) [18]

19 Ana IVANOVIC (SRB) [19]

20 Yanina WICKMAYER (BEL) [20]

21 Shuai PENG (CHN) [21]

22 Flavia PENNETTA (ITA) [22]

23 Shahar PEER (ISR) [23]

24 Venus WILLIAMS (USA) [24]

25 Dominika CIBULKOVA (SVK) [25]

26 Daniela HANTUCHOVA (SVK) [26]

27 Maria KIRILENKO (RUS) [27]

28 Jarmila GAJDOSOVA (AUS) [28]

29 Ekaterina MAKAROVA (RUS) [29]

30 Roberta VINCI (ITA) [30]

31 Bethanie MATTEK-SANDS (USA) [31]

32 Lucie SAFAROVA (CZE) [32]

MEN’S SEEDS (ATP Tour rankings in parentheses)

1 Rafael NADAL (ESP) [1]

2 Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [2]

3 Roger FEDERER (SUI) [3]

4 Andy MURRAY (GBR) [4]

5 Robin SODERLING (SWE) [5]

6 Tomas BERDYCH (CZE) [6]

7 David FERRER (ESP) [7]

8 Andy RODDICK (USA) [8]

9 Gael MONFILS (FRA) [9]

10 Mardy FISH (USA) [10]

11 Jurgen MELZER (AUT) [11]

12 Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA) [12]

13 Viktor TROICKI (SRB) [13]

14 Stanislas WAWRINKA (SUI) [14]
15 Gilles SIMON (FRA) [15]

16 Nicolas ALMAGRO (ESP) [16]

17 Richard GASQUET (FRA) [17]

18 Mikhail YOUZHNY (RUS) [18]

19 Michael LLODRA (FRA) [19]

20 Florian MAYER (GER) [20]

21 Fernando VERDASCO (ESP) [21]

22 Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV (UKR) [22]

23 Janko TIPSAREVIC (SRB) [23]

24 Juan Martin DEL POTRO (ARG) [24]

25 Juan Ignacio CHELA (ARG) [25]

26 Guillermo GARCIA-LOPEZ (ESP) [26]

27 Marin CILIC (CRO) [27]

28 David NALBANDIAN (ARG) [28]

29 Nikolay DAVYDENKO (RUS) [29]

30 Thomaz BELLUCCI (BRA) [30]

31 Milos RAONIC (CAN) [31]

32 Marcos BAGHDATIS (CYP) [32]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I just discovered that the TV schedule is out now. See it at this link or scroll down.

In the U.S., French Open broadcast rights again fall to three networks: Tennis Channel, ESPN2 and NBC.
Tennis Channel will carry the brunt of the coverage during the weekdays from first ball at 5am ET to noon ET.  NBC will have weekend coverage and live telecasts of both women’s and men’s finals.

If you can't watch it on TV, live streaming is available on and

Tennis Channel French Open TV Schedule (Live) (All times Eastern)

Sunday, May 22, 5 a.m.-1pm, First-Round Action

Monday, May 23, 5 a.m.-3 p.m., First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 24, 5 a.m.-Noon, First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 25, 5 a.m.-Noon, Second-Round Action

Thursday, May 26, 5 a.m.-Noon, Second-Round Action

Friday, May 27, 5 a.m.-Noon, Third-Round Action

Saturday, May 28, 5 a.m.-Noon, Third-Round Action

Sunday, May 29, 5 a.m.-Noon, Round of 16 Action

Monday, May 30, 5 a.m.-Noon, Round of 16 Action

Tuesday, May 31, 8 a.m.-Noon, Quarterfinals

Wednesday, June 1, 8 a.m.-Noon, Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 2, 5 a.m.-8 a.m., Men’s Doubles Semifinals

ESPN2 French Open TV Schedule (All times Eastern)

Sun, May 22 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action

Tue, May 24 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action

Wed, May 25 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action

Thur, May 26 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action

Fri, May 27 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action

Mon, May 30 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Round of 16 Live & Same-day action

Tue, May 31 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action

Wed, June 1 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action

Thur, June 2 8a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s Semifinals Live

NBC French Open TV Schedule (All times Eastern)

Sat., May 28, 1:30pm-4:30pm, Third-Round Action

Sun., May 29, 3pm-6pm, Round of 16 Action

Fri., June 3, 10am-1pm, Men’s Semifinals

Sat, June 4, 9am-noon, Women’s Final

Sun., June 5, 9am-2pm, Men’s Final

(NBC Schedule subject to change)


I can hardly believe it! The French Open begins in just 5 days.
I haven’t written for Tennis Is Tops since the US Open last September, and that was 8 months ago.
 I can’t explain the long layoff.  Maybe I just OD’d on writing about tennis. It’s not that I haven’t followed it, as I always do. I just wasn’t inspired to say anything, although I have a couple of articles in draft that I never published. One is from the Australian Open, and I may yet post it. Even if the AO is old news, some amusing things happened this year that are worth savoring.
So here it is…the French Open 2011. Find out what you want to know. I'll post the TV schedule when it's out.