Random thoughts, observations and links from the tennis world …
• Above photo: Shhh! Little geniuses at work.
• For four days the tennis headlines were dominated by gossip, scandal and violence. So thank you, Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov, for playing a compelling, dramatic, three-hour second-round match in Madrid on Tuesday that made us remember that that’s why we love this sport.
• You have to respect Maria Sharapova’s multitasking abilities: Make out with boyfriend on Wednesday, wake up early, go win 19th straight match on clay (a streak that would grow to 20 on Friday), tell Madrid where to find Sugarpova. If coffee is for closers, Sharapova should own a Starbucks by now.
• Andy Murray doesn’t have an “RF” logo or a signature “bull” insignia, but this is definitely the best player-related T-shirt I’ve seen in a long time.
• How does Fabio Fognini fuel himself? Sushi, edamame, pizza and beer. As one would. Your move, Benoit.
• Micaela Bryan: Barely 1 year old and already poking fun at Rafael Nadal’s blue-clay allergy.
• Agnieszka Radwanska is 1-1 as a blonde.
• Madrid is struggling to fill the Caja Magica. Just clone this guy a thousand times over and problem solved.
• Maria Kirilenko is eminently GIF-able.
• How out of control was the Serena Williams-Sloane Stephens feud getting? Check out these back-to-back tweets from Serena’s hitting partner:
I don't care what you think about me, I don't think about you at all….—
sascha Bajin (@BigSascha) May 06, 2013
Guys, my last tweet wasn't referred to Sloane at all. I quoted Coco Chanel… Stop assuming things!!—
sascha Bajin (@BigSascha) May 07, 2013
• Djokovic and his brothers, Marko (left) and Djordje (right), celebrate Orthodox Easter. Those kids have really grown up, no?
• Who lasted longer in Madrid: The bull or the American men?
• Robin Haase has lost 17 straight ATP-level tiebreakers. Seventeen!
• Here’s your Murray Mutts update: They visited their dad’s golden mailbox (in commemoration of his gold-medal performance at the London Olympics) in his hometown of Dunblane, Scotland.
• After much internal debate, I’ve decided I’m a big fan of Roger Federer’s minty and modern look.
• The ATP needs to sit its players down and explain the time-violation rule. During the standard pre-match huddle with second-round opponent Jerzy Janowicz in Madrid, Tomas Berdych spent a good 30 seconds debating and seeking clarification on the rule. He still doesn’t seem to understand that “playing to the reasonable pace of the server” doesn’t mean the server can take only a few seconds between points and fire away whenever he wants. Is there complicated angle to this rule that I’m missing?
• Speaking of Berdych, the 27-year-old and Murray, 25, both won their 400th career matches this week.
• Personalized razors as gifts for players? Weird.
• The sky’s the limit. The fashion limit. Svetlana Kuznetsova’s kit is horrible.
• “No, John. Chalk did not fly up.”