Party Time in Tokyo:
Kei defeated Milos in the Tokyo final to win his first 500-level title. This was a big match-up, featuring two younger ATP players. Milosh reached the final after defeating Tipsy and Muzz, while Kei had defeated Berdy en route to the final.
It was genuinely inspiring to see Kei play and win in front of his home crowd. He played very well and there was a cracker of a point in the first set TB that pumped him up. Around this time last year, Kei was targeting a no. 45 ranking. His quest to achieve the highest-ever ranking for a Japanese player was called “Project 45.” Fast forward to October 2012: he’s now cracked the top 15. I love seeing players raise the bar for themselves.
Nissin sponsors Kei — Nissin are also the maker of Cup Noodles. You could see the Cup Noodles figurine at the end of the Tokyo court. I hope Kei threw a Cup Noodles party for the ball kids after winning the final, as it would be a splendid rivalry for Fed’s Basel pizza party. They should make it a rule that all 500-level tournaments should throw parties for the ball kids.
Fed with his pizza in Basel, Kei with Cup Noodles in Tokyo — can’t you imagine Ferru and Ferrero throwing a paella party in Valencia? Except Ferrero, being the Boss that he is, would be the only player to have a personal butler attending to him and serving him his paella on a silver platter with proper cutlery.
Even Roger, GOAT that he is, serves the pizza to his ball kids!
Last year, Rafa was spotted taking a secret photo of the Cup Noodles in Tokyo. Perhaps he is in the midst of plans to host his own special party for the ball kids in Barcelona? That would be interesting, given Rafa’s distaste for tomatoes, ham and cheese. I know —- Rafa should throw an olives party for the ball kids in Barcelona! Rafa likes his olives.
Gangnam Style Hits the Tennis Tour:
I haven’t been as up-to-date with my tennis news recently, but I was delighted to see British player Laura Robson’s rendition of the “Gangnam Style” video, with other WTA and ATP players:
I think it’s crazy how popular the original video has become. Fer makes a special appearance in this version and it is truly cringe-inducing and hilarious all at the same time. Stosur is pretty awesome in her elevator scene. I bet they originally recruited Fer for the elevator scene, but he started hamming it up so much that building management expressed concern over elevator safety. So the producers of the video had to turn to a true master who actually knew what she was doing: Hence, Sam Stosur! 🙂
I genuinely don’t understand why they included Sharapova. Plus, her pronunciation of Gangnam is awful. She doesn’t even dance! To loosely paraphrase Mao Tse-tung, “Dance or get off the pot!”
Li-Ning: Will They Be a Bigger Presence on Tour?
Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning recently announced a surprising sneaker deal with NBA star Dwyane Wade. Wade left the Michael Jordan brand (a Nike brand) to sign with Li-Ning.
I mention this, only because there was a recent rumor floating around that DelPo was possibly considering a move from Nike to Li-Ning. There are no official statements and no news sources to confirm what is still just a rumor. Most tennis players wait until the year is over before starting a new brand contract, so it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything official until the start of next year.
In the possible event that Li-Ning do end up signing DelPo, I hope they make more attractive tennis kits for him. Last year at Roland Garros, Marin Cilic (Li-Ning player) played against Spain’s Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo (also a Li-Ning player).
They wore the same Li-Ning outfits. Ramirez-Hidalgo proceeded to roll up one sleeve of his outfit (he played the entire match with one sleeve rolled up), perhaps as a way of distinguishing himself from his identically dressed opponent**:
I’m just saying, I hope they don’t do this to DelPo.
**Ramirez-Hidalgo ended up defeating Cilic at Roland Garros last year. This lends credibility to the “sleeveless theory,” that some players are better capable of summoning their best selves, when they are unbothered by pesky sleeves.