Miami Glamour

Mar 25, 2010

Under the gleaming Miami sun, tennis has come to town. Players have been sampling what the place has to offer left right and centre, with sightseeing and even a bit of swimming with dolphins on the cards for the players. Alongside this chance to hear about the players in a more relaxed state of mind, there’s also a round up of the Miami tournament on this blog.

Fernando Verdasco was caught on camera tearing up the waves on a jet ski, looking right at home in the sunshine with the cityscape behind him. Novak Djokovic took a day off from training to do the tourist thing; Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, a sojourn on the beach. With a new relaxed image, he seemed happy to take his early exit at the Indian Open in his stride. You may have heard about his doubles match with partner Mel B from the Spice Girls for the Miami Open’s ‘Kids Day’. Try to catch some video on that if you can.

A group of players even had the chance to swim with dolphins, including Fernando Gonzalez, Robin Soderling and David Ferrer, who squeezed themselves into wetsuits and had a splash with the dolphins at the famous Seaquarium in Miami. Some of the WTA Tour players joined in, including Kristen Flipkens, Julie Coin and Alexandra Dulgheru.

Miami is a second home for Andy Murray; the Scot owns an apartment in the sunny city, and trains there for a substantial part of the year.  The last few days he has been taking some flak for not doing enough for his country’s (rather dismal) performance in the Davis Cup. Critics (including now former GB Davis Cup Captain John Lloyd) say he should be playing for his country like most other top players; Andy Murray says he’s got to think about his own long term career first. He seems comfortable not only in Miami, but in this Miami tournament, getting a bye for the first round after claiming the title last year. His first opponent is Leonardo Mayer, who beat Mardy Fish in the first round.

Progress so far is following the typical lines; James Blake, David Nalbandian and Taylor Dent all went through to the next round. Richard Gasquet suffered a defeat against Olivier Rochus in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, a first round exit that is becoming worryingly characteristic for the Frenchman.

Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal comes of a narrow defeat to Ivan Ljubicic at the BNP Paribas Open semi-final in India to play Taylor Dent (also in the second round). Novak Djokovic – beaten by Ljubicic in the same tournament’s quarter finals –  goes up against Olivier Rochus in the second round and Andy Roddick faces Igor Andreev.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both coming back from injury; Federer from a bout of illness and Nadal from a more long running physical problem. Still, the Majorcan is said to have passed his recent physical with flying colours, and Federer has had enough rest to return to the game.

Last year, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic battled it out for the title, but the tournament is still open wide. And, as Ivan Ljubicic proves after his Indian Open title, just because you are amongst the highest ranked in the world doesn’t give you a bye all the way through to the finals.

Still, these guys are playing in one of the most lavish, exciting, and sun-drenched cities in the world; can’t be all bad can it?

Andy Murray helps Sport Relief

James Corden plays Smithy in the BBC show ‘Gavin and Stacey’, a loveable beer-belly from Essex who loves his sports stars. In this comedy sketch for Sport Relief, Smithy  coaches some of the biggest stars in sport and gives them all a talking to in his acceptance speech. More than anything it’s a chance to see Andy Murray display a pretty good sense of humour.

For those who don’t know of the comedy show Gavin and Stacey, the name James Corden may not mean much, but there’s a fantastic array of sporting legends that take part, and it’s a chance to see Andy Murray represent tennis in one of Britain’s biggest charity fundraising events,  so have a gander at this video.

Written by: SophieG

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