The Last Word – Dec. 9, 2013

Nadia Petrova’s mom dies in car crash

A report from The Russian Athletics website says Nadia Petrova’s mother died Saturday in a car crash.

Nadezdha Ilyina (Nadezhda is Petrova’s actual first name) would have turned 65 on Jan. 24.

She was a bronze medalist in the 4 x 400-metre relay at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and later coached young athletes as well as her daughter. The article refers to her as an “Honoured Master of Sports”.

(Pic from rusathletics.com)

 

RAFA. SPANDEX.

From Spanish journalist David J. Nadal, who’s everywhere in Mallorca, it seems (he posted a pic taken of himself with Ana Ivanovic – who was training in Palma before heading down to Colombia for an exhibition with Maria Sharapova – multiple times on Twitter last week) we bring you Nadal. Wearing Spandex.

NadalinSpandex

Say no more.

He’s with Gomez Noya, a 30-year-old triathlete of note. He won the silver medal at the London Olympics. And, coincidentally, according to Wikipedia, was born in … Basel, Switzerland!

(Pic from David J. Nadal’s Twitter feed. He’s a great follow if you want news of his namesake).

Nadal back on the practice courts

After a scant two weeks off (doesn’t that seem not nearly enough to you, after the year he had?), Rafael Nadal was back on the practice courts Monday in his native Mallorca to start preparing for the 2014 season.

NadalpracticeDec9

(Pic from Nadal’s Facebook page)

Court Philippe Chatrier a mess

It’s a good thing the French Open doesn’t start for another six months; Court Philippe Chatrier is a disaster area right now.

CourtPhilippeChatrier

Drainage issues in the basement below the famed court are apparently to blame for this.

(Photo from the Roland Garros Facebook page; thanks to Yannick Cochennec for the head’s up)

Kirilenko keeps up with her man

Yes, apparently there are people in Russia who don’t know how to skate.

And Maria Kirilenko, engaged to NHL star Alex Ovechkin, is one of them.

The Washington Post reports Kirilenko is learning (there are pics and even some video), and the ever-attentive Ovechkin was there to cheer her on (and probably try not to mock too much).

Kirilenko-Ovechkin RG

A fellow Russian WAG can also be seen on the ice. But she clearly had been there, done that before.

You have to wonder about the wisdom of someone with a bad knee (bad enough to keep her out of the Australian Open) getting out on skates. But hey, she wasn’t moving very quickly.

Hantuchova tickles the ivories

This is from last week, but still worth reposting.

During an exhibition in Bratislava, Slovakia, veteran Daniela Hantuchova took a break from playing mixed doubles with the fabulous Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to do a turn on the keyboard.

She banged out a credible version of Beethoven’s Für Elise – no small feat when you’re doing it in a tennis dress, with the fans rhythmically clapping, and the fabulous Tsonga giving you that big grin.

Not surprisingly, her technique on the ivories is as smooth as it is on the tennis court.

 

Apropos of nothing, Raonic makes Russian headlines

Canadian Milos Raonic got big play on Russia’s Sport Express website Dec. 5 – fairly randomly.

RussianRaonic

The interview itself seems pretty old; the hook seems to be his comment that he plans to follow the Winter Olympics in Sochi and hoped the time difference from wherever he was wouldn’t get in the way.

Well, as long as they spell your name right – even if it’s spelled Милош Раонич.

 

 

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