Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Tennis’

Four by four in slams

September 11, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 7 Comments →

Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany and their son Stellan at the US Open

So Andy Murray defeats Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller to end Britain’s 76-year slam drought. Well done. We always thought Murray’s best chance would be at Melbourne or Flushing Meadows, and he finally locked it up. Now the British can stop going on about lost glory, the end of the empire, etc.

Interesting that Sir Sean Connery turned up at Murray’s press conference last week. Connery is the most high-profile supporter of Scottish independence. Murray of course is Scottish. So if Britain is broken up (though current polls say most Scots are opposed to independence), will Britain still have a grand slam?

With his US Open victory, Murray becomes the favorite at the Australian Open (also played on hardcourt). Ayyyy don’t buy the favorite label Andy! Then there will be talk of a calendar slam…don’t listen!

Interesting: The four slams in 2012 were won by the top 4. The first was won by Djokovic, who was then ranked number 1 in the world; the second by Nadal, then ranked number 2; the third by Federer, then number 3; the fourth by Murray, number 4. And they all won on their favorite surfaces, in the places where they (the first 3) bagged their first majors. Symmetry.

Meanwhile: Ampunin si Ampon! The Case for a Filipino Legend in the Tennis Hall of Fame.

Our podcast episode 4 is up. (Updated)

September 10, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Podcast, Tennis 4 Comments →

The winner of our Apology for Gurgliness contest is jaime!

The question was: What would our guest Mike do if a victorious tennis player tossed his/her sweaty towel at him?

jaime’s answer: “If it’s Sharapova, he would wring the towel and put it in a vial. Then he would wear it on his neck.”

He added that if it were another player he would have the towel laundered and have it framed, but we’ll accept that answer. Congratulations! Your prize will be delivered to National Bookstore in Rockwell on Monday.

* * * * *

Marat Safin is now in the Russian Parliament. Someday he will be president. Good or bad for humanity? We say great.

It’s the Tennis episode with guest, filmmaker, director of commercials, tennis trivia-head Mike Alcazaren. We cover the year in slams, tennis tantrums, future Russian president Marat Safin, the ideal length of tennis shorts, and why there are no tennis movies. Then we launch our campaign to get Filipino tennis great Felicisimo “The Mighty Mite” Ampon into the Tennis Hall of Fame. Ampunin si Ampon!

The weekly podcast is available for streaming or download here. You can also subscribe to it on iTunes.

Thanks to JT’s Manukan for treating us to dinner!

Massive apologies for the sound quality—we were so busy yakking, we didn’t monitor the recording or check the playback. Just think of it as the Spongebob Squarepants episode, recorded in a pineapple under the sea.

Thanks to Ricky and Manny for tweaking the sound file, and to our podcast site manager Ren for uploading the episodes every week.

By way of an apology for the gurgliness, here’s a giveaway.

You can win these Ancient Aliens seasons 1-3 DVDs by answering this question:

What would our guest Mike do if a victorious tennis player tossed his/her sweaty towel at him?

Post your answer in Comments. All correct answers qualify for the raffle.


Roger Dodger

August 22, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Places, Tennis 4 Comments →

From Robin in New York:

So we were at Lady M, a cakeshop on the Upper East Side, kinda near were we saw Aling Martha Stewart…and who walks in?

RF in the flesh!

An avid fan asked for a picture with him but he politely declined.

In fairness, mabango siya and malinis ang paa…

Reminds us of a gag from high school.
- May ipagtatapak ako sa yo.
- Ano yon?
- Paa.

And of Tennis Mike’s rankings of players’ feet at the Shanghai Open. (Gay Tennis Mike, not Het Tennis Mike. We must know 100 Mikes. Not, alas, Magic Mike.)

Oh good, Roger’s eating cake. No Anna Wintour in the entourage?

Send sightings, photos, questions, and stuff that doesn’t fit in the posts to

Roger Federer, we release you.

July 15, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 2 Comments →

Cartoon from The New Yorker

Before Sunday, Roger Federer’s last grand slam victory was at the Australian Open in 2010. Since then it’s been two and a half years of mental torment, recrimination and self-doubt—not for Federer, whose perfect hair remained unruffled by the dominance of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, but for Federer fans like myself.

I hope you’re a better human than I am, because I was reduced to hoping that Nadal’s knees would fall off (Not impossible, given the way he plays) or that Djokovic would split in half (Not impossible either—his upper torso goes left, his legs go right, boom! Manananggal). Sportswriters wrote Roger off (He’s 30)—I stopped reading them. He got cranky after his losses—I figured he’d been babysitting his twins. I watched the grand slams almost furtively, lest others gloat that he’d become “vincible”.

Suddenly we’re back! Okay, technically not “suddenly”—he had to win seven matches at Wimbledon—and not “we” because he did all the work.

Read our column today in the Philippine Star.

Einstein’s tennis robot

July 12, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Technology, Tennis 6 Comments →

While writing Sunday’s column we looked up some facts about Roger Federer’s career and found this bit in his Wikipedia entry.


Due to his extremely consistent playing style and seeming indefatigablility, some commentators have accused Federer of being an extremely advanced Swiss robot.[41] Swiss ingenuity is well known, as evidenced by the superiority of Swiss Army Knives and Swiss clocks. Swiss patent documents recovered from the effects of Albert Einstein reveal a 1904 application for a mechanical tennis partner that was later abandoned. [42]. Engineers studying the attached drawings believe the design to be decades ahead of its time, and have concluded that it is entirely possible that in the intervening decades, the Swiss were able to perfect the technology, the end result being Roger Federer.

When confronted with this evidence in the winter of 2006, Federer denied the allegations, stating they were “preposterous” and that to his knowledge “such technology does not exist, even in Japan.” Federer then dispensed hot chocolate from a cavity in his chest and flew away, powered by rockets located in the soles of his feet.


7th Wimbledon, 17th slam, back to Number One

July 09, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis 8 Comments →

Roger Federer photo from the Guardian.

Roger Federer has won the Wimbledon men’s singles final for the 7th time. It is his 17th grand slam championship. With this victory The Fed returns to World Number One.

And many had written him off.

Fantastic effort from Andy Murray.

This is our Wide World of Pain column from the December 2011 issue of Esquire (Phils). Yeah, everyone gets emotional during the holidays.

The Fractured Skull and the Avatar