Tramlines

  • Murray gets helping hand from ballboy

    Fourth seed Andy Murray battled into the French Open quarter-finals.....and got a bit of help from a ballboy along the way.

    Murray had fought back superbly to level the match at two sets all on Monday and the opening five games of the second set on Tuesday went with serve.

    Then at the start of the sixth game of the last set a ball boy
    inexplicably ran on to the court.....right in front of the Serb as he was
    winning the point with a smash.

    The umpire ordered them to replay the point which Murray won, leading
    to more rage from Troicki and boos from a crowd sympathetic to the
    blushing boy.

    As

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  • Sweet Serb win tinged with sour taste

    It should have been the sweetest tennis story of the year. Little Serbia's stunning victory over France had all the things you want from a piece of sporting drama: excitement, a rollicking atmosphere and some outstanding personal performances.

    But some incidents throughout the weekend have left a sour, bitter taste that Tramlines just cannot wash out of its mouth. None more so than the utterly disgraceful comments from the Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic after the doubles rubber.

    Rather than praise France's Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra for a fantastic come-from-behind victory, Obradovic

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  • A day of heart at Roland Garros

    It's rare that Tramlines goes for the
    straight line on something, instead preferring the heavily sarcastic response.

    But for once sarcasm is the last thing
    that is called for as TL wants to pay a genuinely heart-felt tribute to
    Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

    Eight days ago, the 28-year-old's coach
    and fiancé, Stephane Vidal, died after a lengthy battle with a brain tumour.

    And, in spite what must be an
    overwhelming grief, Razzano fulfilled his last wishes by turning out for her
    first round match against 24th seed Jarmila Gajdosova.

    Razzano lost in straight sets but just
    making the start of the

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  • Nadal will have to battle demons as well as Soderling

    Rafael
    Nadal is the number one player in the world. At least in name he is, albeit
    with that record seemingly to fall to Novak Djokovic in the next week.

    Behind
    Djokovic, who has clearly been the best player in the world this season, Nadal
    has reached the second most consistent, reaching the last five Masters finals
    (only to lose to the Serb in four of them) and also picking up titles in Monte
    Carlo and Barcelona.

    And
    yet the Spaniard is clearly not happy.

    He
    very nearly crashed out of the first round of the French Open, to the
    admittedly tricky, big-serving John Isner, and his performances

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  • Two-year ranking system flawed

    World number one Rafael Nadal has called for an overhaul to the
    men's ranking system
    in a bid to protect injured players.

    In the wake of Juan Martin Del Potro's third round clash with Novak
    Djokovic, Nadal has said called for a change from a one-year rolling system to
    a two-year rolling system would ensure that players forced to take an extended
    lay-off due to injury wouldn't lose too many ranking points.

    "To have a longer career (the solution) is to have two years
    of ranking. Not only one year," Nadal said.

    "(With a two-year rolling ranking system) if you stop being number
    five of the world,

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  • Mattek-Sands does the can-can

    In case you haven't figured it out by now: Bethanie Mattek-Sands is
    a character.

    Instantly recognisable on court, her playing outfit incorporates
    long socks and the black eye patches used by NFL players to reduce glare, after
    the American found that she did not like to play in sunglasses.

    And now, with time to kill in Paris
    after she was knocked out of the French Open by Jelena Jankovic in the fourth
    round, the American number two has made a trip to the Moulin Rouge, spiritual home
    of the can-can.

    The 26-year-old dressed up in the traditional clothes before being
    taught how to do the dance.

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  • Women’s tennis: Weak or level playing field?

    Kim Clijsters's shock departure from the second round of Roland
    Garros on Thursday was followed by the exit of world number one Caroline
    Wozniacki and last year's beaten finalist Sam Stosur
    on Friday.

    That makes it the first time since 1971 when both of the top two
    seeds have been knocked out of the French Open before the fourth round.

    World number three Vera Zvonareva had a scare in the second round
    as well, although she battled through and eased through her third round clash,
    and seventh seed Maria Sharapova had to recover from a set and 4-1 down before
    winning 11 straight games to reach the

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  • Paris Fashion Week

    Tramlines doesn't pretend to know its Gucci from its Prada but when
    it comes to recognising its Adidas from its Nike, TL is unrivalled.

    And yet TL was forced to raise an eyebrow when Maria Sharapova
    revealed that her dress this year is inspired by the Eiffel Tower?

    As nice a dress as it is, and considerably better than the
    creations Venus Williams was sporting in Australia earlier this year, TL
    just can't see it.

    And with Kim Clijsters uncharacteristically crashing out of the
    French Open
    in the second round on day five, Tramlines was left wondering what
    could have provoked such a thing.

    The

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  • Sulky Federer says balls to it all

    Roger Federer has become increasingly stroppy in recent times and
    on Monday, the assembled world media was treated to another gripe of the former
    world number one's.

    Apparently he's unhappy with the balls.

    Despite cruising through his opening round match 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)
    against Feliciano Lopez
    , Federer was belligerent in his post-match press
    conference about the new balls being used at Roland Garros.

    "I guess the disappointing part here in this whole story,
    because I'm hearing a lot of conversations about the balls, it's just that
    they're not the same from what we've just played for the last

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  • Mixed events can only help WTA

    This week is one of those rare occasions outside the Grand Slams when both the men's and tennis tours converge together in the same place in Madrid.

    There can be no doubt that in recent years the men's game has stolen a march on the WTA tour with it superstar Nadal v Federer and now Nadal v Djokovic rivalries leading to salivating storylines; while the women's game has been riddled by retirements, unretirements and a steady flux of unconvincing numbers ones.

    There's no harm in the WTA adopting a "if you can't beat, them join" them attitude towards things every once in awhile and this week

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