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Often Imitated Never Duplicated: The Petko Dance

Today marks the end of Andrea Petkovic's Cinderella run at the Sony Ericsson Open.  I call it a Cinderella run, not because she was a complete unknown and just coming into her own, but rather because she was finally introduced to the masses as the funny, entertaining, and smart girl that she has always been.  After making it to the semi-finals, she will break into the top 20 for the first time, but unfortunately, when a new road begins another ends, and we must now say goodbye to the Petko Dance. 

It started off as a bet with her coach at the US Open.  She had not been playing well prior to the tournament, so he said that if she won her first round match against Nadia Petrova she would, "have to do something special."  And this is what she did:


Since then, it has been become a bit of a craze, with fans requesting it after every win, "I wanted to get rid of it after the US Open, but the fans just ‑‑ they said like, Hey, we are just coming to see the dance and you're not doing it anymore."

Andrea has been preparing us all week that this was the last tournament she would do the dance.  In her presser after defeating Caroline Wozniacki she said, "I tried to do it as much as I can here in the tournament, because then it's gone.  I'm a little sad, but it was ‑‑ it was a nice phase and it was nice fun, but now I'm getting a little tired of it.  Time to move on."

But some people are finding it hard to let go.....

Last night after Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson, he did a little version of the dance and Andrea gave her thoughts on his moves at her post-match press conference:

Q.  Is the dance officially retired, or is Djokovic stealing the dance?

ANDREA PETKOVIC:  I hope so.  He told me he was going to do it.  I saw him in Indian Wells doing like some kind of it, but this was not really the Petko Dance.  So I really hope he steps up his game.  Yeah, Petko Dance from Petko is retired.  I don't know if any other players will try to involve them in their games.  I would be very happy to see it.

So players take heed:  if you're gonna dance, be on your A game, because the original will be watching. 


The New #1 American? Mardy Fish Round 4 Interview Sony Ericsson Open

It's been a long time, but tomorrow we may have a new #1 ranked American, Mardy Fish.  It won't come easy, he will first have to make it past the feisty David Ferrer, but just the thought of someone being at the top of American tennis that is NOT named Andy Roddick is just plain odd, and I think Mardy feels that way too. 

Click to read more ...


Photos: Roger Federer Round 3 Press Conference Sony Ericsson Open


Rafa And I Have a Misunderstanding

After the defeating Feliciano Lopez in the Double Your Pleasure Match, I went to Rafa's presser.  He gives a lot of the same answers to the same questions, so I thought I would change it up a bit and ask about Davis Cup (since I'll be going.)  So here was the Q & A, and within the parenthesis is my added commentary to explain our.......misunderstanding:

ME:   Are you planning to play the upcoming Davis Cup tie in Austin?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Remain a lot.  (Pause....I look at him confused)  Remain a lot.  (Pause....I continue to look at him confused and now he realizes he needs to explain.)  Remain a lot of months to go there and a lot of things can happen.  We will see what's going on here, in the clay season, grass season.  Is difficult for me. Too important things for me to come to think about the Davis Cup next round, no?

I smile and nod.  We're now on the same page.

Here are some photos from the presser.  Rafa gives good face.

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Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun

I couldn't get the Doublemint gum commercial out of my mind while watching the Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez match today at the Sony Ericsson Open.

I mean, COME ON, was there a more sexy match on Stadium Court?  And it seemed like every pose I got of Rafa, Feli tried to to one-up him:

Rafa and Feli trade who's got the better thigh pics.  I think it's a tie.

Here's the competition to get the most cat-calls.  Rafa won.

But.....when it comes to who's more EMO.....?  It's Feli every time! (click to enlarge to see facial expression is mandatory)

Good Times....


Petko! Petko!  Petko!

Andrea Petkovic delivered one of the biggest upsets so far, taking out #1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open.  It was an exciting match to watch, with Petko "mixing it up" and being aggressive with her shots.  But of course, the MAIN reason I was watching is that I wanted to witness the Petko Dance, (which will be unfortunately going out of style) in the flesh, and let me tell you, it was 10 seconds of pure fabulousness.

It's interesting how a player's personality can affect the entire media room, and the moment Petko stepped in after a tense Caro presser, I felt my whole body relax.  She's smart, funny, personable, and just has that "IT" factor that so many players lack.  Her post-match press conference is still being talked about in the media room as I type this at 10:00 in the morning.  It was classic.  Pictures and highlights of the interview (with my question about her next Petkorazzi video) after the jump:

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Maria Interrupted By Family At Post-Match Press Conference

During Maria Sharapova's post-match interview, after her defeat of Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-1, she was interrupted twice with family calls on her cell phone.   It's nice to see players laugh and smile and not take themselves too seriously, and you begin realize they actually have a life outside of tennis.  She talked about her shoulder injury and the linking of her website with Kei Nishikori's to raise money for Japan.  I asked her a question about her shoulder because I had heard reports that she still felt pain/numbness since her surgery, and I am still getting a kick out of my questions being on the interview transcript:

ME:   Do you have any pain remaining in that shoulder or numbness at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No.  No, numbness anymore, no.  It sometimes depends on the conditions.  If it's cold and one day it's warm and all of a sudden it's cold, I just have to make sure I do an extra warmup.   You know, sometimes if I play for seven, eight days in a row and don't have a break, it's  you've got to take it easier a little bit than the other days.  Just things like that.  Nothing too overwhelming

Q.  Your website is linked with Kei Nishikori's at the moment about the Japan charity.  Can you talk about that a little bit or how you became involved or wanted to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah.  Well, it's obviously a huge tragedy around the world right now.  Japan just is one of my favorite countries to visit.  First time I went there I think was 13 or 14 years old playing a junior tournament, one of the outside cities.  I've just had such memorable times there.  To see the country struggle so much as it is now, I think everyone is trying to do as much as we can.  Kei and I are trying to set something up for the tournament later in the year to help raise as much money as we can.  Yeah, I just hope that, you know, with the radiation, that gets taken care of as soon as possible so it doesn't spread and cause it to last really long.

I can totally see why she can be intimidating on the court, because even in her interview, when you ask her a question, she makes SERIOUS eye-contact and even I was wiggling a bit in my seat.  Here are some photos from her presser after the jump.....

Click to read more ...