Archive for May, 2010
PARIS - Where was Gene Kelly when we needed him?
Canvas covered Court Central during a rain delay
As persistent rain gushed onto Roland Garros, delaying Thursday’s start by almost four hours, I wondered how the star of “An American in Paris” would dance in sneakers with soggy clay as his stage. Roger Federer, the master of movement, has done it pretty handsomely over a decade. continue reading »
May 27 2010 | French Open | 3 Comments »
Never fall for a left-handed Spaniard with a name longer than the Nile. No, I’m not talking about Rafael Nadal, the other Italian Open champion. Everybody knew the dynamic southpaw would conquer Rome.
Suzanne Lenglen sculpture near the court named in her honor
But the big surprise was Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez whose name caused me vocal misery for a week until I finally got it straight. To save space I’ll call her MJMS. Anyway, watching her beat the favored Jelly Jankovic 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, for the title made my heart flutter. MJMS was doing naughty things, unnatural acts in the women’s game. She was violating the WTA Commandment: thou shalt not volley; you must never leave the safety of the baseline. But there was MJMS serving-and-volleying on the slow clay, mixing up her strokes, throwing in deadly drop shots. Volleying? A no-no for most of the tour nowadays. continue reading »
May 27 2010 | French Open | No Comments »
We spent three days in Venice in May 2010….beautiful as ever and as many people as ever…. We had rain and fog and sun and rainbows……
May 23 2010 | Photos | No Comments »
ROME – Walked up a hill to see the most famous – and most infamous – of all tennis players. That would be the great painter Caravaggio, of course.
Marvelous Spanish Steps with Mother's Day display of azaleas
Oh, I know he’s been dead for 400 years, but you never know who you’ll run into while wandering along Rome’s skinny cobblestone streets. Caravaggio, whose straight name was Michelangelo Mensi, is hanging out on the museum walls of the Scuderie del Quirinale, where he grabs you with stark reality: from a bowl of fruit – you reach for a pear – to Goliath’s decapitated head. He, the conquering David, is a self-portrait and his last painting . More contrasts; the Annunciation sharing space with a prim lady cutting a man’s throat. Not to mention believable angels, seductive St. John the Baptists (no less than four versions) and a game of cards. continue reading »
May 21 2010 | Italy and Travel | 3 Comments »
Yannick Noah, the charismatic Frenchmen whose win at the 1983 French Open will be replayed ad-nauseum over the next three weeks, is 50 years old. The dread-locked swash-buckler was born May 18, 1960 in Sedan, France. The following is his biography as it appears in THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com) continue reading »
May 18 2010 | Misc. Articles | No Comments »
Wasn’t it just yesterday when Gabriela Sabatini was 14 years old, playing in the nationally-televised Family Circle Cup final on NBC against Chris Evert in 1985. Well, she’s all grown up now and is 40 years old (Sunday, May 16, 2010). Here’s her bio as it appears in my book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com). continue reading »
May 15 2010 | Misc. Articles | 1 Comment »
Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez would have been 82 years old on Sunday, May 9, if he was still with us. Here’s his biography as it appears in my book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com) continue reading »
May 09 2010 | Misc. Articles | 2 Comments »
ROME – Just when you thought it was against the rules of women’s tennis to serve and charge the net, a who-she? senorita with a boxcar length name landed amid the pines at Il Foro Italico to smack holes in the accepted wisdom.
The original 5th Cent BC she wolf suckling Romulus and Remus
Apparently nobody told Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez out of Barcelona that the first commandment of the women’s game is: Thou shalt not volley. continue reading »
May 08 2010 | Rome Masters | No Comments »
After six years if frustration, I finally made it to Richard Meier’s dazzling, elegant church commissioned to celebrate the new millennium. It was dedicated in October of 2003, is located in a working class neighborhood, Tor Tre Teste, six miles east of Rome. Not an easy drive with terrible traffic. WELL worth the effort to see, however! A masterpiece…..
May 06 2010 | Photos | No Comments »
While Roman emperors have come and gone over the centuries, the current one – of Spanish origin – holds the old town in the palm of his left hand. And has no intention of letting go.
One of the giant sculptures surrounding the Pietrangeli Court
Crowned for a Roman record fifth time, Rafael I should be known as Ravaging Rafa as he comes to town, sweeps up the goodies, and nobody dares to resist. Rafa started winning the Italian Open as a teen-ager in 2005, and boosted his match record here to 27-1 by beating countryman David Ferrer, 7-5, 6-2, on a cold, wet and windy Sunday. continue reading »
May 02 2010 | Tournaments | 1 Comment »