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US Open Day 2: Butt-Tweeners, Junior Winners and (Match) Point Penalties

Roger Federer. Michael Jordan. Marinko Matosevic. Butt-tweener. You can read more about it here

Image via

There's a lot of talk about the decline of American tennis and it's really boring. I'm guessing Cici Bellis was pretty bored of that storyline too, because the 15-year-old American took out 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in three sets today. Bellis won the USTA Girls' 18s National Championship to earn a wildcard into the US Open and is currently the junior World No. 2. She is the youngest player to feature in a Grand Slam main draw in nine years and had never played at WTA Level before. I have absolutely no idea how she did it because I didn't see the match, but I'm looking forward to watching her next round against Zarbia Dyas. And to put her age into perspective for you, here's a pic of her from 2011...

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Roger Federer Wears Michael Jordan Inspired Shoes, Makes Him Laugh With Butt-Tweener


"Jordan Inspired. Federer Approved." That's the tagline for the Michael Jordan tennis shoes Roger Federer debuted on court today. They were a big hit on Twitter and are likely to be an even bigger hit in the stores when they go on sale tomorrow. The shoes are called NIKECOURT Zoom Vapor AJ3 and are expected to cost are $200. If I was a man I'd totally be picking up a pair of these bad boys.

But forget the shoes for a minute, because Michael Jordan himself turned up to watch Federer take on Marinko Matosevic today. He was a hit with both players, with Matosevic yelling out loud during the match, "I just wanna be like Mike," and pointing at Jordan, who was sitting in Federer's box.

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Ernests Gulbis: "I Don't Cry"

Ernests Gulbis completed the 15-love question challenge at the US Open and it was pretty funny. Apparently the Latvian doesn't cry... pfft whatever, I reckon there would be some tears if he won a Slam!


US Open Day 1: Bees, Potty Mouths and Almost Upsets

Image credit: Anita Aguilar

In a day of 'almost' upsets, Nick Kyrgios managed to pull one off over 32 year old veteran Mikhail Youzhny. The dangerous Aussie faced the 21st seed out on court 17, and from what I hear it was a great match, (I caught the end of the second set at 3am... and went back to sleep). After winning the first two sets, Kyrgios let his foot off the pedal enough to allow Youzhny to storm back and claim the third set 6-2, but Youzhny failed to serve out the fourth to take the match to a fifth. Kyrgios took his opportunities in the tiebreak, something he's becoming quite well known for. Another thing he's becoming known for? Emotional tirades. Kyrgios earned three code violations for hitting a ball out of stands and two audible obscenities... one more and he would have been disqualified. Kyrgios apologised on Twitter for his outbursts.

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Men More Likely To Make Bad Challenges Than Women

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Well here's an interesting academic study! A study to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Sports Economics has found that male tennis players make much dumber calls than female players. The study analysed the challenges of hundreds of matches between 2006 to 2008 and found that in the tightest moments, men were more likely to make bad challenges. 
Amusingly, the study declared an 'embarrassing' challenge as a challenge in which the player questioned a correct call when the ball is more than 50 mm off the line. During tiebreaks, 34% of men's challenges were found to be embarrassing while only 9% of women's were. The top ranked men were also more likely to make dumb calls than their lower ranked counterparts, (could this be you, Roger Federer??). The top ranked females, however, were less likely to make a stupid challenge than lower-ranked players.
The authors of the study put it down to men being over-confident, more proud and less embarrassed. “At crucial moments of the match, such as tiebreaks . . . male players try to win at all costs, while female players accept losing more gracefully,” the authors wrote.
You can read more about the study here

Party with the Pros!!

The week before the US Open is by far the busiest lead-up of any slam for the top tennis players and Taste of Tennis has always been one of the largest events on the schedule. This year, it was expanded to a Taste of Tennis WEEK which ended with a bang on Saturday night with the “Party with the Pros.”

The evening featured tennis stars Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and John Isner in a setting where there was fancy food, handcrafted signature cocktails and music.  Like Taste of Tennis, fans could buy a ticket and get a chance to wine and dine with their favorite player and Measure Lounge in Langham Place was the perfect atmosphere for the event.

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Serena Williams Wows At Delta Open Mic Event

Imagine being invited to the Delta Airways Open Mic Event with stars such as Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, comedian Kathy Griffin30 Rock’s Katrina BowdenGlee’s Darren Criss, celebrity fitness trainer Shaun T and tennis star Jack Sock... and not being able to sing! I know how I'd cope with karaoke... get really drunk. But for athletes like Serena Williams, that's not an option. Thankfully, Serena can sing. 

Serena strutted and danced as she sung Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are A New Best Friend," despite saying she really liked classic '80s rock and roll in the pre-performance interview. Check it out!