Press roundup – March 16

(Photo by Omar Ornelas of The Desert Sun)

(Photo by Omar Ornelas of The Desert Sun)

[rant mode]I would like to start this off with nothing press related. That’s the fun of running your own site. You can go off-topic all you want. FSN’s TV COVERAGE SUCKS! There. I said it. What makes it even worse is that it’s different in different regions. I get a weird version of the “Southwest” coverage which isn’t even showing the dang matches love on some days. What’s one of those days, you ask? Maybe tomorrow? When Rafa is scheduled to play both singles and doubles? Ding! What a good guesser you are. *sigh* (Not that they would bother to show the doubles on a network with good coverage, but still.)[/rant mode]

Rafael Nadal: No. 1 on charts and in hearts

For several days, he has been hitting on the practice courts, and, almost embarrassingly, there have been times when the crowds gathered to watch him there have outnumbered those in the stadium.

Then came Nadal, and the place erupted, the tone decidedly female. Despite being a muscular, almost unbeatable animal on the court, Nadal has this teddy-bear image that has attracted groupies in droves.

Hey, I’m not a groupie…just a focused fan.

IW: Working Week Notebook

After half an hour of trying to think of someone who could beat Rafael Nadal at the French, a knock came on the door. It was Justin Gimelstob’s turn. I got the boot. Not sure how to feel about that, but let’s just say TV isn’t my calling.

Shame – because Steve Tignor would make a much better match caller than Gimelstob. (Yeah, that’s faint praise, but still.)

—There’s an unknown reporter here, as there always is, who keeps walking to the front row and asking very loud and strangely enthusiastic questions. Here’s how he opened yesterday’s Rafael Nadal presser.

Q: You’re in such a unique position to be the only player in history who is naturally a right-hander to switch to lefty. What kind of advantage do you think that gives you?

Halfway through this spiel, Rafa’s eyes begin to narrow—who is this person and what is he saying? He started his answer by saying, “That’s not exactly true.” One thing about Rafa: He’ll never let a reporter put words into his mouth.

Ha! My eyes narrowed and I thought the same thing when reading that question. I honestly don’t know how Rafa makes it through these pressers without a few WTFs.

Nadal and title holder Djokovic go through

“For me it was perfect,” he said.

“I played a very comfortable match. I had the break in the first game of both sets. That’s really important. I felt well on the court, playing good.”

Nadal cruises in opener

Utilizing daring angles in his work like an avant-garde architect, Nadal had 24 winners. Although he made only 45 percent of his first serves, he lost only five points on serve.

And finally, vamosrafelnadal has posted a video of the last two games in the Berrer match.