Nestor and the Mladinator (pics)

MELBOURNE – Daniel Nestor and mixed doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic made surprisingly short work of Leander Paes and Daniela Hantuchova (one of the most decorated mixed players out there) in the quarter-finals.

Mladenovic, who can bomb serves of her own, had little trouble with Paes’ delivery. In the pic above, she took a first serve and absolutely crushed it down the line.

The pair are playing the mixed semi on Friday, against Jie Zheng and Scott Lipsky.

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The Genie Tweenie

MELBOURNE – Well, it was a good attempt, in the middle of her practice session Wednesday to prepare for the big semifinal match with Li Na of China Thursday afternoon.

“Tweener”, of course, wouldn’t rhyme.  And we like to think she tried to execute this with the grace of former player Gabriela Sabatini, who mastered the “SabaTweenie”.

So, we now dub this the “Genie Tweenie”. Continue reading

Fedberg gets ready for Mendl

MELBOURNE – It’s been going on for over a week now, but the sight of Stefan Edberg hitting with Roger Federer still gives goosebumps every time.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Or a serve-and-volley thing. Or maybe even a Swedish thing. But Lendl, Becker, Chang, Ivanisevic, none of them have nearly the same effect, as cool as it is.

The two headed to closed-up Hisense Arena, with the Rafael Nadal – Grigor Dimitrov match going long on Rod Laver Arena, to warmup for the big quarterfinal encounter against Andy Murray.

Do you love it? Here are some pics. You won’t find these anywhere else on the tennis planet.

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Young Grigor Dimitrov (pics)

For readers who haven’t yet seen any of these, we took some pics of a very young Grigor Dimitrov with a very young Vasek Pospisil at the 2007 U.S. Open, where they reached the doubles final together.

Pospisil had just turned 17; Dimitrov had turned 16 in May. But he was the hotter prospect; to go with the ITF rules about doubles teams being essentially matchy-matchy, he had to lend Pospisil some of his adidas shirts.

Here are some pics of that final. All together how: Awwwwwwwww.

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