Archive for the ‘Tennis’ Category

The famous UGA man Isner makes the ATC a hot commodity

Fans were insufficient protection against the big heat. (M. Bradley photo)

Fans were insufficient protection against the big heat. (M. Bradley photo)

If you want an inaugural tennis tournament to become a hot (pun intended) item, you can hope for no more than the presence of the most famous Marathon Man since Dustin Hoffman. You can hope for no more than having the towering John Isner, illustrious former Georgia Bulldog, grace your event with more of his endurance work.

“We’ve lived a little bit of a charmed life the last month,” said Bill Oakes, the tournament director of the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Since Isner’s epic Wimbledon defeat of Nicolas Mahut — it carried over three days, ending June 24, and lasted 11 hours, five minutes — the first ATC had been able to bill as the venue for Isner’s homecoming, and folks around here tend to like their Bulldogs.

Heck, even Oakes, who’s a Tech man, likes this Bulldog. And he should: Isner’s participation has taken this modest tournament — only one of the world’s 18 top-ranked men took part — and …

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Tennis player’s successful drug defense: He kissed a girl!

True confession: I haven’t cared about tennis since Bjorn Borg stopped winning Wimbledon. If Roger Federer walked through my living room, I might not recognize him. (I would, however, recognize Maria Sharapova. Not that she has ever stopped by. Although I once attended the same R.E.M. post-tour party as Monica Seles. But I digress.)

I noticed this item only because of one of those AOL home page headlines that are impossible not to click. The headline: “Athlete cleared on cocaine charge; said he ingested it by kissing a girl.”

OK, I clicked. And here’s the deal: Richard Gasquet, a French tennis player, “escaped a lengthy doping ban Wednesday when the International Tennis Federation ruled that he inadvertently took cocaine by kissing a woman in a nightclub.” He had, the Associated Press story goes on to note, “just met [the woman] at the club.”

Gasquet, of whom I’d never heard until this bussing incident, served a 2 1/2-month ban for testing positive but was denied a longer …

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