Maria Sharapova Twitter Feed Found








Until Maria Sharapova completed her grand slam resume last Saturday by winning Roland Garros, the biggest news about her was another title missing from her collection: Twitter handle. Sharapova just couldn’t understand how anyone could or would find anything about her daily life interesting.

But she lied. We were able to track down the overlooked Maria Sharapova twitter feed (handle: OVAKILL). And she’s right: it was boring. But there were a few good nuggets in there. Below find the abridged tweets of Maria Sharapova during her French Open title run.

OVAKILL: OK – How about Already Gone? (I looked up Kelly Clarkson songs) RT@serenawilliams OK – so Stronger by Kelly Clarkson will be my pump-up song b4 my 1st match!

OVAKILL: @ARadwanska brings her change of clothing into the shower stall. #prude

OVAKILL: This tournament is so boring. I just made up a joke: What’s the worst part of dating American girls? They’re only good for one round! LOL!! #startbraggingwhenyouhaveteninthesecondweek.

OVAKILL: True Confession: I used to think Cole Haan was Asian! And then I thought he was gay. Is he even a man? #flatsobviously

OVAKILL: I love eating pasta #boredyet?


OVAKILL: People say I have an easy draw. How about wildcards? I just looked it up and they are guaranteed $18000 Euro – for not having a ranking!

OVAKILL: Did you know if you hit the ground when falling in a dream it means you’re dead.

OVAKILL: Petra-fied. Petra-fried; Should have KVIT while you were ahead.

OVAKILL: That Errani is so cute! She reminds me of a woodlands critter – in a good way!

OVAKILL: I bet I don’t show from behind when I’m pregnant.

OVAKILL: I think I should be called Chantal. After all, I’m 6’2”. Get it?

OVAKILL: Cedric Pioline touched me. I need a shower.

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The Beard Knows

I get around to all the major sports, but I have a soft spot for tennis. Probably because I don’t exactly fit in. Athletes who wear me tend to exude a primal toughness not generally associated with such a refined pastime. It wasn’t until the 70s when I got my first real break with Borg. Newk and Stan had already introduced a couple of my push broom cousins to the game, and Tiriac sported that wicked horseshoe, but Bjorn went half-Galifianakis. The guy had an angelic face, but when it came to the majors he turned Viking. He wouldn’t shave for the full two weeks, unless he lost first, which wasn’t often. We did our best work at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. What a glorious time it was to be on that man’s face.

After Borg I had a little trouble finding work in tennis. There were always openings in hockey, but the NHL playoffs are interminable and the groupies just didn’t compare. It was like going from touring with The Stones to RUSH. And getting slashed with a flat piece of wood is hell on the follicles. It took some major sunshine blowing, but I did manage a brief stint with Connors. It didn’t last long; the guy was way too intense. Aw hell, he was an asshole. He blamed me for every little problem – low 1st-serve percentage, leg cramps, a busted flush. Totally unreasonable to work with.

I thought in the early 90s I could strike up a deal with Sampras. The guy was hatched with five-o’clock shadow. Rumor was after three days growth he could tear a towel in half with his chin. But he was just too clean-cut to go the distance. So I pulled a 180 and partnered with Agassi. Andre and I worked well together. The guy lacks coverage on his dome, but his face is pure alpaca. We had a few special runs, the last time back in ’99. I had long conversations with coach Gilbert (plenty hirsute in his own right) before the French that year and I promised magic if I was brought on board. We ruled Paris. Then Agassi found religion (Steffi) and we parted ways.

Since Agassi I’ve been mostly a non-factor. Maybe what I hear about today’s players is true: they’re a little soft. They opt for the pretty boy, metro image. GQ over SI. James Blake and I did some damage about five years ago, but we never got to the promised land. Tipsarevic and Tursunov will check in from time to time. Good guys with plenty of quirk, but my stubble barely reaches irritable before they’re stamping their passports. Just to be around the game I slummed with that talentless caveman and Billie Jean on the Geico commercials. Total waste of my skills. I felt like DeNiro doing Little Fockers, or Mariano shagging fly balls.

I’ve approached Annacone about working with Federer, but there’s a lot of hesitation of their end. Something about how I would dull the pronounced contours of his face. Whatever. Old-timer is probably worried I’ll come in gray. Nadal? Wouldn’t even return my calls. Total control freak anyway. If playing on a blue clay court can “destabilize” his preparations for Roland Garros, one stray whisker would have him scribbling tantrums in his journal. Murray wants to work with me, but I’ve seen fuller facial hair on the New York Liberty. Lendl hates me anyway. Still blames me for collapsing against Borg in the ’81 final, but it’s misplaced rage; I was working with Stallone on Nighthawks at that time. It took Lendl a couple more years, but he finally sprouted hair where he needed it most.

I haven’t given up though. I’ve got a juicy three episode walk-on for Game of Thrones on the table, but I’m not ready to accept. Not until I hear back from Marian. His charge looks like a born bearder. He’s never won Roland Garros and Nadal seems to have turned the tables on the dirt as of late. Novak could use a thick piece of facial luck to make some history. I think it’s time to try his coach again and double-down on my offer.

“Hello, Marian…Yeah, it’s me. I’m checking back with you about my proposal…What’s the hurry? When I know something’s right I want to make sure it happens…No, he’ll look great. Nothing like Vlade Divac…Too disheveled? Not a chance. Besides, I hear he’s wearing Uniqlo now; he could use a few rough edges…I understand you don’t want to shuffle a winning hand, but here’s the thing: I think this kid can win it all and I want to put my money where his face is. He’ll be the Chuck Norris of Roland Garros. What do you say?”

Not ready to commit. Wants me to check back in with him after the first round. But I can’t wait around until then. I’ve got Lannisters to kill. Novak’s on his own. If he comes up short again, he should look no further than his smooth cheeks for blame.

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Serena’s Mad Rhymes

“I aint ever been a loser and I’m always on top – roofer.”

We may have just lost MCA, but Serena is here to widen the void.

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Rafa’s New Commercial

See you at De Country Club, Rafa.

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Parsing P-Mac

"It's halftime at the USTA. We're getting ready for a big comeback. Just don't expect any of us to drive a Chrysler."

Several weeks ago, Wayne Bryan – tennis coach, dad, and cheerleader – sent a lengthy, critical open letter to the USTA. He essentially characterized the organization’s player development program as being a rudderless money pit. The attention Bryan’s attack drew in the tennis blogosphere caused other notables to chime in. Former USTA coach and Top 10 player, Tim Mayotte, backed Bryan’s disappointment with a post on Johan Kriek’s Facebook page (the natural spot for such a missive). It got so Patrick McEnroe, GM of player development, felt the need to fire back. Below are some the highlights of McEnroe’s rebuttal, with added interpretation.

“It’s easy—and frankly, it’s long been fashionable—to cast a blanket indictment against the USTA. That’s neither new nor notable. I think all of us at the USTA would agree that a lot of past criticism has been deserved, but Mr. Bryan’s scattershot attack is so full of holes, hearsay, and half-truths that I feel compelled to address it.”

If you’re going to say we suck, at least do us the courtesy of being accurate as to why we suck.

“As General Manager of Player Development, my specific charge is to help produce more Top 100 players with the goal that we have more of them competing into the second week of the majors.”

This is the Moneyball approach, people. If we start getting players on base, maybe a few will actually score.

“Let’s face it, in a rapidly-changing global environment, if we’re not changing and moving forward, we’re essentially going backward.”

I’m pretty sure I stole that from Steve Jobs. Or maybe it was a Sprint commercial. No wait, it came with my dumplings from Schezuan Village.

“It’s true that Americans don’t dominate tennis the way they once did, but the truth is that because of globalization, Americans don’t dominate any sport the way they once did.”

When’s the last time we won a World Cup?

“Tennis has often been criticized for being too expensive and inaccessible. Those criticisms have truth to them; they are challenges that all of us involved in the sport face.”

But I think we can all agree it’s nice to keep the “undesirables” away if you know what I mean.

“The idea that the more-talented or more-accomplished kids are somehow being held back or hampered by the rule changes that include shorter courts, properly-sized racquets and slower-bouncing balls is absurd.”

That’s clearly the fault of USTA coaching. Duh.

“Mr. Bryan says he can produce, “all kinds of kids around the country at 8, 9, 10 who can flat out nail the ball.” I’m sure that’s true, and in fact, I’ve seen plenty of them at our Regional Training Centers and our three USTA training centers.”

And by “seen” them I mean I’ve seen clips of them playing on YouTube. My broadcast schedule is a bitch.

“It’s equally important to note that the ability to “flat-out nail the ball” doesn’t exactly translate into a bright future as a player.”

It might even lead to a meth habit.

“Jose Higueras, USTA Player Development’s outstanding Director of Coaching, often has said that this country has produced plenty of players who can hit the ball, but far fewer who understand how to play tennis.”

Even far fewer who understand what the hell he’s saying half the time.

“Mr. Bryan likes to point out that the USTA has never developed a Top 10 player. I would ask him, “Who has, from start-to-finish?””

Seriously. Help me out. Bollettieri? Lansdorp? Who? Throw me a bone.

“Whatever the scenario, whatever the need, we’re there to lend our support to both the coach and the player so that the player can progress.”

And, of course, share in some of the credit. (Wildcards don’t just fall from the sky).

“Mr. Bryan suggests that the USTA’s thrust is to “get rid of the influence of parents and local coaches.” Again, that’s absolutely absurd.”

We very much need these people to give players transportation to our tournaments and pay their membership dues.

“Indeed, the amount of time that we spend annually meeting with and exchanging ideas with private coaches is off the charts.”

In all my written correspondence I always give a tip of the cap to Casey Kasem. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars? Pure inspiration.

“Just last year, USTA Player Development conducted 57 camps at our Regional Training Centers, where we were able to touch thousands of kids, parents and coaches.”

No racquets. No balls. Just lots of hugging and sharing feelings.

“As in most criticism aimed at the USTA, Mr. Bryan is fond of citing the “massive staff expenditures” of this association. Yes, we’re extremely fortunate to have the revenues generated by the US Open to help us fund our programs and hire talented people, but to hear Mr. Bryan tell it, you’d think our water coolers were filled with Dom Perignon.”

That would be idiotic; the bubbly would go flat as Tang. No, our coolers are stocked with wine from the USTA’s private vineyard. (Good luck finding that on our 990).

“I make a very nice living—I don’t apologize for that either.”

But I do thank my brother like crazy. If not for him, I’d be Jay Berger.

“But the truth is that a lot of my very talented staff take less money to work for USTA Player Development than they could make if they took their talents elsewhere.”

Like the PR lacky who wrote this letter for me in between taking my kids to school and buying my wife a Valentine’s Day gift. Hey, it’s not my fault Ketchum isn’t hiring.

“Mr. Bryan bemoans the fact that I’ve hired some foreign coaches; he decries the fact that none of my coaches have children that are champion players. Frankly, I’m offended by the former and amused by the latter.”

It really is hilarious how bad our coaches’ kids are. Bunch of spazzes.

“I still recall the best coaching advice my father ever gave me as a junior—after splitting the first two sets of my match, he told me prior to the third set to, “do what you did in the set that you won.””

I rolled a bagel in the third. I can’t tell you how many times I used that one with Roddick in Davis Cup.

“I understand a lot of the criticism and I’m happy to take most of it—where it’s constructive and where it’s deserved. The buck stops here. Certainly, when Americans don’t fare well on our sport’s biggest stages, nobody is calling the local pros—they’re calling the USTA. And they should.”

Ask for Lorraine. We’re paying her $600k to field complaints. But only Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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A Nelly Olson Australian Open








I’m still thinking about the Australian Open. While exciting at times, was there really much that we haven’t seen before? In fact, it felt a little bit of a tournament Nellie Olson would have loved; a “See, i told you so” kind of event.






I told you Samantha Stosur would lose again

Is Stosur the Frankenstein to Amelie Mauresmo’s Tarzan and Jennifer Capriati’s Tonto? After losing for the umpteenth time at her home slam, Stosur sounded downright Mauresmo about the whole thing. Only Capriati really gave a glimpse into her disappointment.

Said Stosur after her loss to Sorana Cirstea: “Yeah, there’s not any other word for it but a total disappointment.”

Said Mauresmo after losing to Jana Kandarr in 2001: “It is one of my greatest disappointments.”

Said Capriati after losing to Elena Dementieva: “I mean, of course when I came off the court, you know, I just felt like the whole world was coming down on me. You know, just my heart was being ripped out.”

(in Aussie accent) I'm standing on a puddle of piss

ChampagneUhhhhhhhhhhhh (sound of her grunt)











I told you the Australian Open is better than the US Open

What’s with these trophy photo ops? Someone, anyone please find a stylist and a location scout pronto! At least Azarenka got some champagne and didn’t have to look like Raggedy Ann.

I told you the grunting story would never go away

I often found myself switching between The Real Housewives’ series and The Australian Open. I don’t have ADD but I do get bored easily. This special nugget from The Real Housewives of Atlanta made me think: if grunting were a language, is this how Azarenka and Sharapova would speak to one another off-court?

I told you Steffi Graf didn’t retire








Does Christina McHale have a Poltergeist connection? Does it bode well for the future (present) of American women’s tennis?

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Petra Kvitova Is Sleeping With The Enemy

I don’t need to write anything. Decide for yourself. Right around the 35 second mark.

And here is Petra:

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