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TV Timeout: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
January 13, 2014 03:32 PM
PAM SHRIVER, FASHION GURU: ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez said, "We see all the fashions when the new year begins. What are we thinking Chris and Pam of Venus’ dress that she designed?” EPSN's Pam Shriver: "Two thumbs up from down here, but what do I know about fashion.” Chris Fowler added, “Of course, Venus, in the fashion world and her EleVen company continues to grow.” Gilbert, on Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych: “What is up with the kit that Berdych is wearing? ... I can’t get over that shirt, and shorts, and outfit that the Birdman is wearing today.” ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale said, “He signed this deal with H&M and they put him in pretty subdued clothes last year and apparently changed their mind this year.” Gilbert: “I'm going to give him a little grief on Twitter because we banter back and forth, and he’s a very funny guy.”
SHOW ME THE MONEY: ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe, on the ATP Challenger Tour: “There is actually a big issue happening, sort of around the tennis world now. There is actually not a lot of prize money in those tournaments. What there is a lot of, are points available for rankings. They can be anywhere from the lowest challenger on the men's tour is usually $50,000 dollars, that is total prize money, they go up to about $125,000, and the U.S. obviously has what they call the USTA Pro Circuit. In Europe, there’s lots of Challenger events, many of which are quite successful as far as fan involvement and sponsorship.” McEnroe added, “The highest level tournaments in the Challenger Tour are sort of the Triple-A of the tennis world if you compare it to baseball.”
JARS OF CLAY: McEnroe, on the court surface: “Part of the reason they changed the surface here years ago from, well first they changed it from grass to the Rebound Ace, which was the original surface here at Melbourne Park. Then Rebound Ace had a lot of players not only feeling the heat from this court surface, which was made of old tires, but also a lot of ankle, a lot of knee injuries from the stickiness of the court. So, now it’s more of an asphalt surface, similar to the US Open surface.” Shriver said, “Still, it feels like a lot more ankle turns, still down under.”
PERSONALITY CLASH? ESPN’s Chris McKendry said of star players being coached by former star players, “That’s the key to all these coaching arrangements. It’s the personality and the chemistry. … I still think the personality clashes could be fascinating, Boris Becker and Novak Djokovic.” ESPN’s Chris Evert: “It’ll either be really successful and Djokovic will win some grand slams, or Becker can be out in two weeks. It could be a clash, really confrontational” (“2014 Australian Open,” ESPN2, 1/12).