July 28, 2012

Olympic Tennis Fix: It's Easy To Follow With ITF App!

While I'm excited about the Olympics, the reality is I just want to keep up with tennis. (Sorry all of you other fabulous athletes.) So, somehow, I came across this incredible app put out by the International Tennis Federation that let's me do that. Really - there is an app for everything these days!

It's free, as are all great apps, and is available for both iPhone and Android devices. Download it now and you'll see that some of our singles medal contenders have already been knocked out of the race (Sorry David Nalbandian). Thank you ITF for helping us Olympics tennis lovers keep on top of London 2012!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

July 25, 2012

Olympic Tennis Fix: Tennis Team USA!

With the Olympics now just days away, let's take a look at who made it to Team USA!

We'll start with the women who are coached by Mary Joe Fernandez, herself an Olympic medalist (winning gold twice, in doubles in 1992 and 1996, and bronze in singles in 1992). In singles, the ladies, pictured above, will be playing: Serena Williams, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Venus Williams. In women's doubles, the Williams sisters will team up and the No. 1 ranked team of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will be playing. Good to know about these ladies:

  • This will be Venus's fourth time to compete in the Olympics! She won singles and doubles gold in Sydney in 2000 and doubles gold with Serena in Beijing in 2008.
  • If Serena wins gold, she will be the only female to have won all four Slams plus Olympic gold in singles and doubles.
  • Venus and Serena just won doubles at Wimbledon. They only team up for the Slams. They will be going for their third doubles gold medal.
  • Huber and Raymond lost to the Williams sisters in the semis at Wimbledon. Hopefully we'll see an all-American doubles final! 
  • Varvara Lepchenko switched her citizenship from Uzbekistan to the United States in 2007. This is her first year to break into the WTA's Top 100.
  • Christina McHale is 20 years-old, is currently ranked at No. 26, and has one win over a No. 1 player, beating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in 2011.

For the men, playing singles will be Andy Roddick, John Isner, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young. Mike and Bob Bryan will field one of the doubles teams. The other will be Roddick and Isner. What to know about these guys:

  • Roddick last appeared at the Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • This will be the first time at the Olympics for Isner, Harrison and Young.
  • The Bryan Brothers won doubles bronze in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (Gold went to Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. Silver to Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson.)

I'm thinking the American women look really strong. The men - less so. But its the Olympics so you never know what will happen. I'd love to see Roddick bring home a medal.

As for mixed doubles, those teams haven't been announced yet. I'm guessing the two teams will look like this: one of the Bryan Brothers teamed up with Serena and the other with Liezel. Since tennis play starts this coming Saturday, I think we'll be hearing that announcement very soon.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

July 24, 2012

The State Of Tennis In Munich, Salzberg, Vienna And Prague

I hope you've been wondering, "What is up with Tennis Fixation lately? How come I'm still seeing a post from two weeks ago about Serena Williams winning Wimbledon on the TF home page?" Well . . . I just got back from a two week whirlwind tour of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, checking on the current state of tennis in those fabulous countries. Sort of.

Actually, I just got back from a two week vacation in those fabulous countries and, while I was there, I tried very hard to make any kind of tennis connection I could. Despite my husband constantly asking, "Why are you taking a picture of THAT?"

So here it is - my European vacation with (arguably) tennis highlights.

First, the picture above is obviously a clay court with something going on. This was taken in Munich, the first stop on our trip (while I was in a cab from the airport - my first vacation pic was a tennis pic!). It's a German tennis lesson! Yes, they take lessons in Germany just like we do! As you can see from this photo, they take lessons EXACTLY like we do as these three young ladies are lined up right on top of the net probably to learn how to hit some very unrealistic volleys.

Here's a more accurate picture of my time in Munich:

Beer at the Hofbrau House! I don't care how "touristy" people say the Hofbrau House is. When everyone around you is from some country other than the United States, it seems pretty darn un-touristy. This beer stein picture is very representative of my trip as a whole as beer drinking is a big activity in all three of the countries I visited.

Our next stop - Füssen, a small town right outside the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. We spent two days there in a sweet hotel, rented bikes, rode up to the castles and otherwise toured around. Here's a pic of our hotel sign (name - "Hotel Altstadt zum Hechten") and I highly recommend this spot (and its restaurant) if you are planning on heading to these incredible castles:

While I looked for tennis all over Füssen, I didn't find any. But I'm sure it was there somewhere (by the way, I hope you are impressed that I'm able to get that umlaut over the u in there).

We then moved on to Salzburg, Austria by train. I cannot say enough about how fabulous the train system in these countries was.  I did see some tennis going on during the train trip, but by the time I fumbled around with my iPhone/camera and actually turned the thing on, we had passed those courts by.

In Salzburg, we stayed in a 600 year old hotel right off the Residenz Platz (major tourist area) called the "Hotel Goldene Ente." Loved it. And especially loved the wonderful woman running the place while we were there (whom we dubbed Fraulein Maria for the proper "Sound of Music" touch) who gave us great recommendations of places to go and restaurants to eat at. Here's a view of the fountain that was just steps away from our hotel:

While in Salzburg, we took a day trip and one of the places we stopped at was Bertchesgaden, Germany (Salzburg is right on the Austria/Germany border). So how is this for a tennis find?

Yes, this is Andy Roddick selling Lacoste cologne. This Andy Roddick poster was in the display window of a department store and I just thought it was cool because I've never seen this before. I assumed he just wore their clothes. If you look closely, you can see he's holding a bottle of the cologne on his shoulder and it kind of explodes into a splashy tennis racquet. (And yes, this is one of those moments when my husband asked, "Why are you taking a picture of THAT?")

After Salzburg, we traveled to Vienna and, guess what happened while we were there? Roger Federer broke Pete Sampras's record for most weeks to hold the ATP No. 1 ranking. Pete's record was 286 weeks and Roger made it to 287 and counting. And how do I know? Here's the ad I saw in our hotel's English language newspaper:

And, once again, my husband was questioning my photo-taking priorities.

Our final stop was Prague in the Czech Republic and while I really didn't expect to find anything tennis-related, look what was at one of the caricature artist booths on the Charles Bridge:

Caricature pictures of Roger and Rafa! How's that for spotting the tennis connection? There were also caricatures of Novak and Andy Murray but I didn't take pics of those because I was afraid the artist was going to yell at me for photographing his work and not buying it.

So that's my tennis vacation to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. If you're heading to any of these countries and want any recommendations, let me know as I had a wonderful time and think we found some great spots.

Coming up - the Olympics!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

July 7, 2012

Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon!

Serena Williams does it again - for the 5th time! Serena has won Wimbledon, beating Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. This is Serena's 14th Grand Slam title and, in my opinion, definitely sets her up for a gold medal in just a few weeks at the London Olympic Games.

Following her triumph, Serena didn't have a whole lot of time for interviews. Why? She's in the Wimbledon women's doubles final this afternoon with sister Venus!

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved