Court Six: Long Island Tennis Magazine's Gossip Column (September/October 2013)

Serena Williams would be happy to take on Andy Murray on a tennis court after the Olympic champion said he would fancy a match against the 16-time Grand Slam winner … but just for fun.
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg
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Serena and Murray entertain idea of battle of the sexes match
Serena Williams would be happy to take on Andy Murray on a tennis court after the Olympic champion said he would fancy a match against the 16-time Grand Slam winner … but just for fun.

After being challenged by a fan on Twitter to take on Serena, Murray said in his column for BBC Sport that such a matchup could create interest among tennis fans.

“I've never hit with her, but she's obviously an incredible player, and I think people would be interested to see the men play against the women to see how the styles match up,'' said Murray.

Serena replied, “Really? He wants to play me? Is he sure? That would be fun. I doubt I'd win a point, but that would be fun.”

There have been several high profile matches between stars from the men and women's game. The most famous of them was held in 1973, with Billie Jean King humbling Bobby Riggs in straight sets.



 

Nadal’s first round loss at Wimbledon sets tournament Twitter record
According to Wimbledon, more people tweeted about Rafael Nadal’s first round loss to Belgian Steve Darcis with 7,000 tweets per minute, than last year’s men’s final.

 



 


On-court royalty
If Andy Murray wins Wimbledon again in 2014, he will do so as “Sir Andy Murray” if British Prime Minister David Cameron get his way. Here’s what Cameron had to say after Murray defeated Novak Djokovic to become the first British winner of Wimbledon in 77 years, “I can’t think of anyone who deserves knighthood more.”

Sources inside the British government have confirmed they would be nominating Murray to the Honors Committee, the group who determines who is bestowed such titles.



 

Wimbledon winner Bartoli faces criticism
Marion Bartoli won the 2013 Wimbledon Women’s Singles Title. BBC radio commentator John Inverdale, had this to say to his radio listeners after Bartoli's triumph: "Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was little, 'You're never going to be a looker? You'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight.'"

We doubt that exchange occurred, and not just because her dad probably had no knowledge of Sharapova's existence when Marion was little. Inverdale later attempted to make amends, saying, "We poked fun, in a nice way, about how she looks ... but Marion Bartoli is an incredible role model." The BBC also apologized later. None of it stopped the torrent of social media criticism from rolling in.

As for Bartoli herself? She replied to the criticism, "It doesn't matter, honestly. I am not blond, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes."

Marion's father, Walter, also handled the situation with class. "I am not angry. She is my beautiful daughter," he said when told of the comments.



 

Yonex severs ties with Wozniacki
The relationship between Caroline Wozniacki and Yonex has been interrupted, due the Dane being caught training with an old Babolat racquet, disguised with the colors of Yonex. Someone who watched her train posted the pictures on Twitter.

This all didn’t escape from the careful eyes of Yonex Director Benni Holst Andersen, who affirmed that her contract is now void. Wozniacki enjoyed her best results using a Babolat racket, but the former world number one stands to lose a lot of money from the Yonex contract. Wozniacki has been struggling mightily lately, and will not find it easy to get a similar contract elsewhere.



 

And the ESPYs go to?
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won 2013 ESPY Awards for the Best Male and Female Tennis Players at ESPN's ESPYs award show. “Aww yeah,” said Serena’s sister Venus Williams via Twitter. “It was some tough competition, so proud of ‘lil sis.”

 



 

Djokovic releases gluten-free diet book
Novak Djokovic attributes his success in recent years to a change of diet. Now he'll be sharing his nutrition tips in a book to be released prior to the U.S. Open. Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence is the title of Djokovic's ''nutrition-based performance guide.” The top-ranked Serbian has won six of his seven Grand Slam tournament championships since adopting a "performance-focused" gluten-free diet in late 2010. In 2011, he took the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He has since won two more Australian Opens.

“Finding the right foods for my body has made me lighter, healthier, and more focused," said Djokovic. "It's made all the difference in my career and in my life."



 

Troicki suspended 18 months
World number 53 Viktor Troicki of Serbia has been suspended for 18 months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for refusing to submit to blood testing before this past April's Monte Carlo Masters. The ITF said Troicki broke an anti-doping rule by providing a urine sample, but not a blood sample. His ban from the sport ends Jan. 24, 2015.

"I am innocent," said Troicki. "I have never ever taken any prohibited substance or ever thought of doing so. I did not lie and this really hurts."
Troicki told an independent tribunal he had been assured by the doping control officer at the event that it would be acceptable to not provide blood because he had not been well that day, the ITF said. The tribunal, however, ruled that the officer had told Troicki "she could not advise him as to whether his reason for not providing a blood sample was valid, and that no such assurances were given by her."



 

Tweets from the pros
►Roger Federer ‏(@rogerfederer): Went to see a 3D movie, man there was a lot of steel!

Kim Clijsters ‏(@clijsterskim): Hey guys, check out @maditenniskeys is on Twitter now!

►Maria Sharapova ‏(@mariasharapova): New York is just around the corner!! Saw the TV ads and got all excited @usopen

►Victoria Azarenka (@vika7): Going for a day to where it all kinda started for me in the states! Back to AZ :)

►Serena Williams (@serenawilliams): Welcome back Twinkie! My dessert for tonight.

►Andy Roddick ‏(@andyroddick): My friends and I do a "Guys on Steroids" pool where we guess/draft players who might get busted for steroids … #bigday

►Andy Murray (@andy_murray): Dexter!

►Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob): My 1st movie role! Albeit a small one (though no small roles I'm told!) "Break Point" I'm "Dash Stevens" :)

►Maria Kirilenko (@mkirilenko): Practice, cotton candy, couple of interviews, next stop … @Starbucks.

►Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki): It's a wrap!! Just finished a 4.5 hour photo shoot for Adidas by Stella McCartney! Next year’s collection is so cool!!

►Mardy Fish (‏@mardyfish): I'm such a massive baseball fan, but this Arod stuff could push me far far away …

►Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole): Thank you @NaomiCampbell for supporting @novakfoundation See you soon my friend!