Novak Takes Rothenberg’s Lunch Money

Do you know who Ben Rothenberg is?  I’ve slammed the guy a few times with my teeny tiny Twitter tongue; he’s a tennis journalist who, I think, basically writes for Ben and Twitter 😉

He’s a big WTA honk and leader of the “anti Best-of-Five” crew. These credentials alone (WTA cheerleader/anti-Best-of-5 clown) make him, perhaps, the biggest tennis tool on the planet.

Interesting little tidbit of irony here is that Novak has supported this position on Bo5.

Say it ain’t so.

Ben tries to come-at Novak in this pre-Rome presser (below). Novak tells the moderator, who naturally wants Novak to answer some actual tennis questions, to hold-off because he wants to address Ben’s little protest (the media are interested in the council vote to replace Justin Gimelstob, whom we haven’t talked about at all but who is a complete scumbag). Ben tries to pry into Novak’s role in the vote, the council, and the board’s lack of transparency.

Watch Novak take him to task (stuff him in a locker). Keep in mind, Ben will take this as a win because he got so much “attention”; that’s how this type works. Unbearable.

By the way, his first question about his Madrid title is perfectly articulated in terms of what Mcshow said about his confidence, looking ahead to RG, especially from beating Thiem.

We have much to write about this week in Rome. I might have downplayed Rome a bit in my last post, but so much this week hangs in the balance.

By the way, listening to Novak, Roger and Rafa interview at these pre and post pressers is quite the pleasure in not only getting a chance to hear them talk directly to specific interviewer questions (the quasi candor of the moment), but their interview style directly mirrors their games’ personalities.

Roger is delightful, usually quite lighthearted — a tea party, per se, with a few lovely compliments and chuckles and blushes from the press corp. Smooth operator is this one.

Rafa is diligent and deliberate, always serious (seemingly) and tough, honest and modest.

Novak is the intellectual of the three, quite willing to go off-script and challenge, explore, laugh and engage his interrogator. Pretty democratic is this one (remember the irony from my last post with regards to Novak’s dominance and the field’s “equality”? Ha ha.).

I would probably prefer, among the three, a beer with the Djoker though everyone’s invited 😀

In about two hours (do I stay up and watch), Federer takes on Sousa. Hmmmm.

Big day in Rome.

Thiem v Verdasco (Thiem needs to get back on the brilliant bus; maybe the Madrid winds pushed some of those balls wide and long — he needs to get back to that tighter punishing tennis).

Fritz beat Pella. The Argentine’s little run has waned. Good on the American. He plays Nishikori.

Struff v Cilic (isn’t Marin injured?).

Kyrgios v Ruud: Ruud is another youngster with some hope, but Nick just schooled Medvedev. See the match or the highlights? Nick is a sick talent. He toyed with the Russian. Did you read that last line?

Goffin v Del Potro. Whoa. Goffin smashed Stan, who was smashed by Rafa in Madrid. I think Stan is battling some kind of injury or something. These scorelines are pathetic.

Kholschreiber v Cecchinato. Winner gets winner of Djokovic v Shapovalov.

Fognini v Albot and Rafa v Chardy, among a few other matches.

Talk to you tomorrow. School’s out, so it’s time to rock and roll.

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