Tenniszine - UK tennis blog.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Club night (28) cool doubles

Sunday's club night was better than last week, with four of us turning out, three men and one lady. The weather was still quite cold but above freezing and very damp. We played doubles and rotated the players after every set and played for a couple of hours.
Well I didn't win any tickets to the Aberdeen Cup and couldn't watch it on TV since SKY had exclusive rights, so the good old BBC tells us what happened. Seems that although Rusedski and Murray had honors even after two matches, Scotland beat England overall. Scottish tennis is certainly on the up.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Club night (27) what a difference

What a difference a day makes. Turn out at Tuesday's club night was fantastic with 10 of us there. All men. So we had several good sessions of doubles and singles. The weather was slightly warmer, 4-5 degrees C but very damp which made the hard-courts slightly dodgy. The weekend weather outlook is wintry however, so Sunday club night coming will be interesting again. My form was mixed and I just couldn't make much impact against some of the better players. I think it's because I haven't been playing much, or competitively, lately - well not since summer really.
There was some discussion about the Federer - Nalbandian match, with feedback from the lucky ones who had seen it on Sky Sports. Maybe I should switch from NTL.
There's still a few events left to look forward to before Christmas:

Any others?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Not tennis, PC malware

It's funny how things turn out. First I infected my PC, rather stupidly, with a mix of spyware and adware.
Then, like most folks I got caught up in the furore over the Sony DRM mess.
Well I was suspicious that my PC was not clean because I kept getting unexpected pop-ups whilst surfing, and eventually Zone Labs complained about sendeapi.exe.
It was because I had been reading Mark Russinovich's blog about the Sony mess that I decided to try the RootRevealer tool from sysinternals security utilities, and lo I had indeed a hidden infection. Thanks to the Forum I was able to clean it up using further advice by Calamity Jane here.

Club night (26) practise wall

Sunday night was even colder, and although I was prepared for that, I was not prepared for being the only one to turn out! I spent 20  minutes hitting against the practise wall and decided every one else knew better than me after all, and went home!
So congratulations to David Nalbandian on his Masters victory,especially over Roger Federer. Didn't Nalbandian used to be Federer's nemesis? The BBC put some photo's here.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Club night (25) colder still

Friday club night was miserable with the temperature hovering around freezing. There was a thin layer of frost and ice on my car when I left home for the club. This time I dressed sensibly.

Turn out was poor which is hardly surprising. All the sensible folks stayed home whilst the youngsters no doubt hit the clubs and bars as usual for a Friday evening.

I hit with one of the coaches and even worked up a sweat. This instantly turned into an 'ice-vest' when I stopped playing.

I am disappointed that Eurosport is not able to show recordings from the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, so I've been following events as best I can using the BBC's tennis site, but even that has been poor. Thank goodness for Court Coverage, and given my moan about the WTA Championship web-site the Master's Cup web-site is much better.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Not tennis but Sony DRM

Given an earlier rant in one of my first posts about CD DRM from EMI and BMG I am really not surprised by the activities of Sony and eventual climb down.

OK so we won a battle, but as Bill Thompson at the BBC says we will probably lose the war. He had previously argued that the fans should decide but I don't think the average fan with their latest iPod, MP3 player or mobile phone with MP3 cares as long as they have the latest gadget. It's a pity and I for one have spent some of my own money supporting the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

Unfortunately the company I work for supports the Trusted Computing Initiative and I hope the EFF's voice gets heard.

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Club night (24) colder

Tuesday's club night was slightly colder outside than my previous blog, and I spoke too soon about it being unseasonably warm as the UK weather forecast is even colder. Last night it was 7 degrees C (45 Fahrenheit) and again I turned out again in shorts, which was a mistake. But the bigger mistake was a single short sleeved top and jacket. I really needed another under-vest or T-shirt. I will be playing again Friday evening which has warnings of overnight -1C. What to wear? I will be playing singles so will develop a sweat, but need to keep warm at the beginning and end. Sounds like I need thermal layers. This is tennis UK style!
Turn out last night was pretty good and I played a round robin of singles and doubles amongst other men. This was good as some are clearly better than me, although I feel able to cope but just not consistently enough at the same level. My regular doubles partner and I won our turn however, even though we were both slightly below par.
Once my arm injury has healed and I can practise more often I'm going to work on early preparation, taking the ball early, serve and tactics. Probably in the spring next year.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Club night (23) triples and cold

Quiet at club night last night, only three of us turned up so we played two on one and rotated after three games. I've blogged about this before.

The temperature playing outside was about 9 degrees C, and was a bit chilly for only a single top and wearing shorts. It's been down to 5C in the UK but that's still unseasonably warm. I remember when the first ground frosts would start towards the end of October and we're nowhere near that. I also remember from last year that I start wearing a tracksuit bottom when the temperature is around 7C.

Playing in cooler weather is always a concern for keeping warm and avoiding injuries. I was playing quite well, apart from my serve which was erratic. In this cooler weather the balls fly quite slow, and are reluctant to bounce. Then there's the glare from the outdoor flood-lighting which is needed in these dark evenings.

WTA Chamionships

Well done to Amelie Mauresmo on winning the seasons ending WTA Tour Championships.

Get all the news here, well maybe *NOT*. What an absolute let down of a web-site for this prestigious season ending event.

Surely the WTA could have done better than this? Or maybe it's all part of the ploy to get you to go here to find out more. Pics here.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Club night (22)

Club night mix in this week had the usual suspects. My regular doubles partner and I were both struggling to find some form and clawed back a set from 1-5 down to eventually win it 7-5. It wasn't pretty tennis and we both just cut down the errors and ground out the win. The second set was better and we deserved it 6-1.
I see my predictions in the previous post have jinxed both Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters with the two French women in the final at the WTA Tour Championship.
So Lindsay finishes no.1 anyway, which after thoughts of retirement is amazing reward, and Kim has had a successful come back year topped with her first Grand Slam.
So what of Pierce v Mauresmo. The popular vote has to be for Mauresmo who has never won a Grand Slam and to win the year end Championship would compensate a bit for that. Can she hold her nerve though?

Monday, November 07, 2005

ATP doubles news

The Times online has an interesting story about the doubles fiasco on the ATP tour. This sounds really promising.
WTA Tour championship preview. I normally like to predict the winner at the Grand Slams, and wished Kim to her success in the US Open. So it has to be a Clijsters v Davenport final with Kim prevailing.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Club night (21) and PC adware

I have played at the club two nights in a row now, slowly recovering my form. My movement is better, but backhand lacks power. My arm is sore but holding up as I've said before. I will be playing league singles matches over the winter so I need to improve.
I have not been able to post for a few days since my PC got infected with some adware, VX2 and others I believe. It was my own fault, safe surfing and all that, I ignored a rule deliberately and got burnt. That was a lesson in itself, and removing the various malicious files was another set of lessons I had to go through and could have done without. I now have half a dozen spyware and adware scanners, and related cleaning tools which I hope I don't actually need in the future.
Congratulations to Tomas Berdych for his win in Paris, didn't Murray beat him recently? Congratulations too to Amelie Mauresmo for her win in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Club night (20), UK no.1 2005

After several weeks absence I went to my first mid-week semi-serious club night session last night. Turn-out was low which surprised me since there's not much else to do, for a tennis player, in these long dark evenings. On the positive side most of the people who turned up were solid players. So I played a mixture of singles and doubles, and was playing quite well with my backhand marginally improving but still not where it used to be.
My arm is holding up quite well today, sore but no more than it was before. So I think I have fixed the forehand action that was causing the injury and just need to give it time to heal. This will probably take a few months since I will continue playing although at a reduced frequency.
I haven't read the book Duel for the Crown about Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in 1998, but it is general if unsubstantiated knowledge that the two players are not friends by choice.  So I am sure that Rusedski's charm at his press conference at not finishing no.1 in the UK at year-end hides a bitter and deep felt disappointment. Conversely Henman must be secretly pleased although disappointed with his latest injury.
Next year is going to be interesting for Henman, Rusedski and now Murray the new kid on the block. It's going to be interesting anyway with the other youngsters, Roddick still without a Grand Slam and of course the ongoing Russian and American saga with the women's tour. Hooray for Patty Schynder qualifying for the season ending championships.