My U.S. Open 2010 Predictions! August 29, 2010Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Personally John, Television, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, New York City, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, U.S. Open, Venus Williams
Though I am not entirely sure yet, there is a very high possibility that I will be attending the U.S. Open this year again! I’m really excited and will definitely be reporting on it when I am there. Click here to see my pics, and review of the Open last year.
But, for now I wanted to post my thoughts on who will win this year’s U.S. Open – both men and women. I used USOpen.org’s Bracket Challenge to plan out my quarterfinals, semis, finals, and champions. So without further ado.
Serena withdrew last week as she recovers from a freak accident a few months ago where she cut her foot on a glass at a restaurant and required emergency surgery. With Serena out of the mix, the field is actually very wide open. For the women’s side I have:
1 Caroline Wozniacki def. 2 Kim Clijsters in the final.
Caroline has been on absolute fire this summer and is the U.S. Open series winner, which means she will add a million dollar bonus to whatever prize money she makes during her run this year. Kim has been doing well this summer, but there is a bit more of a spark in Caroline’s play. Caroline doesn’t possess any major weapons but her consistency seems to be enough to really make it far in this tournament. Here’s how I think the women’s draw will go:
As for the men, Rafael Nadal goes in to the U.S. Open as the No.1 seed…though this is the only major he hasn’t won. I got to see Rafa play last year when I went to the Open. He definitely has what it takes to win this tournament – there’s no doubt about that. With Federer aging, and a not-s0-hot draw, I predict:
1 Rafael Nadal def. 19 Mardy Fish in the final.
Mardy has never played like a champion until this summer. He won a couple of tournaments and is in the best shape of his life. It’s a long shot to have him beating Federer – the greatest player of all time – but Federe has proved that he is not infallible. Here’s how I think the men’s singles draw will go:
In 2 weeks we’ll know the winner of both! Will someone surprise us (like Del Potro did last year) or will we see the No.1 seeds win? I’ll be back after the fortnight to analyze my usually accurate predictions!
9 Important Memories Of My 2009 January 2, 2010Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, iPhone, Movies/Film, Music, Personally John, Sports, technology, Television, Travel.
Tags: Barack Obama, Department of Energy, Fame Monster, friends, HRC, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Monster, National Equality March, New York, New York City, Nick Cannon, Ohio, Serena Williams, Spice Girls, Venus Williams
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I always spend this time of the year reflecting on the last 12 months (like everyone else), and have realized that I had a lot of amazing things to experience in 2009. Here are 9 things about 2009 that I will always remember, in a somewhat chronological order:
- The Inauguration of President Barack Obama
I was very lucky to be able to drive to Washington, D.C. with for two very important reasons this year. First was in January for the inauguration of our current President, Barack Obama. Being in D.C. with my friends Danny and Jackie, on the National Mall, at the Washington Monument, and seeing the amount of love, happiness, and sincere joy of millions of people was truly something that I don’t think I could ever successfully explain. I hope one day to tell my children that I was there to experience that, and that it was one of my most amazing experiences of my life at the time.
- NYC with C’Anna For Spring Break
Though it was cold, and we had some hurdles to jump, it was so fun to be in New York City with C’Anna, her aunt, and her nephew. She finally got to meet my other best friends, Johnny and Courtney, which really made me happy! Tons of pictures, tons of laughs, tons of good food. It was definitely one of the highlights of 2009.
- Getting My First Real Job
It wouldn’t be 2009 if I didn’t remember getting my first real job at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown. Though it kind of put a damper on my usually very exciting, energetic summer, it did a lot for me in the long run. Knowing how professional offices work, especially ones connected to our government, is priceless and valuable experience that I know I will carry with me throughout my career. Also, meeting Rachael, and becoming very good friends with Andrea made this experience 10x more enjoyable!
This year, I have made quite a few VERY close friends that have really impacted my life in ways that I had never thought were even possible. My friends are my family, and they know that. So, to add even more positivity to my life, I was more than happy. Phillip, Neall, Kim, Danny, Robby, Andrea, and Rachael, just to name a few! You guys really make me happy and thankful that I have been blessed with the positivity and love that you provide.
- Headlines: Friendship Never Ends Tour / Cedar Point
This kind of meshes in to No.2 a little but but it is a separate thought from just talking about the friendships I made. It was also the trips! This year, we all visited each others homes (for the most part). I came to New York, they came to Cumberland, and we all went to Akron, Ohio, where Phillip lives. Between dancing our faces off at a club in Akron, and our trip to Cedar Point where Phillip’s nose started bleeding after a roller coaster, this summer was full of laughter, happiness, memories and most importantly love.
- U.S. Open / Walking Out of Louis Armstrong Stadium with Venus and Serena Williams.
Not a lot of people realize how amazing and unbelievable my experience at this year’s U.S. Open was for me. Being the biggest tennis and Serena Williams fan that any of you know, getting to the U.S. Open has been a dream of mine since I was 16. I finally made it happen this year (with a hefty pricetag) and not only saw Venus and Serena’s singles matches, but their doubles match as well! If you read my blog at all, you probably know this already. But the best part of the night was leaving to go back home, and walking out of Louis Armstrong stadium with Venus and Serena literally right behind me!! I, of course, took pictures, and it will be a memory in my head that I know I will never forget.
- National Equality March
I didn’t blog about this, but being in D.C. again in October for the National Equality March was something I know that I’ll never forget. Being a part of history is very rare, and to do it twice in 2009, and both times in D.C. makes me very grateful. Though the people that were marching had every reason to be pissed off, upset, and depressed, everyone was in a very positive and optimistic mood. C’Anna and I both knew how important this march was, and we were both very excited to have shared the experience together, with my friends Laura and Elysa.
- Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster“
For those of you who know me, this should come as no surprise. Lady Gaga and her latest album, The Fame Monster, definitely made 2009 a year to remember. It has been a long time since an artist has come along and changed the way I think, eat, dream, walk, talk, and smile. This album has not only made me happy musically, but has brought a lot of very important people in my life for various reasons. On top of the fact that every song is a monster hit (pun intended), it’s no wonder Lady Gaga is John Thrasher’s Woman of the Year for 2009!
- New Year’s Eve 2009 in New York City!
This is only a few days ago, but I already know that it is a day and an experience that I will always remember. My very good friend Phillip got tickets for Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden and invited me to go along with him! I can’t say I’m the biggest Mariah fan, but he definitely is, so I knew either way I was going to have a blast with him. I got there, and had soooo much fun ringing in 2010 with him, Mariah, and Nick Cannon! The confetti, the music, the dancing, everything was just so fun. After the show we met up with the rest of our friends and continued to fun for a while longer. Definitely one of my favorite memories from New York City.
2009 was definitely a year to remember. Like all years, it had its ups and downs, but overall, I have to say that I am blessed to be able to experience the things that I love, with the people that I love. Already 2010 is setup to be one of the best as well. I have a lot of goals, milestones, and expectations to uphold, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out. I hope a year from now I am writing about my successful job, successful move to New York, and a whole slew of new friends that I hope will change my life the ways the ones I met this year have.
Happy New Year, and make 2010 the best year of your life!
Serena Williams To Explain Her Meltdown to International Tennis Federation September 13, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Movies/Film, technology, Television, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Brian Earley, China Open, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, tennis, U.S. Open, Venus Williams, Yahoo Tennis
Yahoo! Tennis is reporting that Serena Williams is scheduled to explain her verbal meltdown to tennis’ governing body, the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Serena, along with members of the ITF, as well as the Grand Slam committee, will convene on Sunday with U.S. Open referee Brian Earley to discuss the situation and possible consequences.
The group is expected to review video footage of the incident, seek clarification from the line judge and most likely hand down a heavy fine to Williams. A representative from the WTA Tour is also expected to be included, although the Tour does not have jurisdiction over Grand Slam events.
I’m not really sure what will happen here. Probably something dramatic, because that always seems to happen with Serena. Maybe it will just be a huge fine. In comparison to some of the other fines that tennis players have received, I would expect the fine to be somewhere around $20,000.
It will be interesting to see how this situation pans out, and how Serena responds to interviewers and the press. Serena is scheduled to play the China Open in Beijing, which starts on October 3. Other than that tournament and the season ending Championships, that’s all the tennis obligations that Serena has to fulfill. Something tells me that if she gets a heavy fine, she may pull out of both events and just take the rest of the year off.
Serena and Venus are scheduled to play the women’s doubles final tomorrow as well. I wonder if the meeting with the officials will come before or after the match, and how it will effect Serena’s game. There’s a part of me that wonders if she will just pull out of the final and hop on a plane home to get out of NYC. When she and Venus were heckled at Indian Wells in 2001, they never returned.
Serena Williams Cusses Out Line Judge – Loses Semifinal September 12, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Uncategorized.
Tags: controversy, John McEnroe, Serena Williams, tennis, U.S. Open, Venus Williams
Serena Williams, who I just saw play last Sunday, received a foot fault (when your foot goes over the baseline during a serve) on her second serve, setting up Kim Clijsters with a match point. Serena then walked over to the line judge and cussed her out. CBS played audio of what Serena was saying. Here’s the quote:
“I swear to God, I will take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat.”
That is just some of what was about a 45 second tirade from Serena Williams. The chair umpire called the lines person over to the chair and asked what she said. After the report, the tournament director came out and issued a code violation to Serena Williams for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, earlier in the match Serena smashed her racket after losing the first set, which also ended in a code violation for racket abuse.
What’s the catch? On your second code violation, it’s a point penalty. The second code violation happened on match point, giving Kim Clijsters the 6-4, 7-5 win to advance to the U.S. Open finals, where she will play No.9 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who I saw play doubles against Serena and Venus last weekend.
I am a huge Serena Williams fan, but have to say that this is very sad and disappointing. Serena and Venus have always been extremely classy, gracious, and courteous in both of their careers. To see Serena lash out like this, and end in a point penalty, essentially losing the match is yet another blemish for Serena in her US Open legacy.
In 2004, Serena Williams hit a shot that was half a foot inside the line against Jennifer Capriati. The chair umpire awarded the point to Capriati, to which Serena had a very vocal altercation at the chair. Many people believe it was this match that forced the introduction of electronic lines-calling and the implementation of instant replay in professional tennis.
Here are a few pictures courtesy of Yahoo! Tennis of Serena talking to the lines-person, as well as the tournament directors.
My U.S. Open Experience! September 9, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Personally John, Sports, Television, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Caroline Wozniacki, Daniela Hantuchova, Grand Slam, Juan Martin Del Potro, Kim Clijsters, New York City, Nicolas Almagro, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Sorana Cirstea, tennis, U.S. Open, Venus Williams
On Sunday, September 6, 2009, I got the chance to go to the U.S. Open in New York City! I bought my ticket the night before, and got decent seats on Arthur Ashe stadium. I was so excited to go, and could barely sleep the night before because all I thought about was being there. I have dreamed about going to the U.S. Open since I was 16 and started playing tennis. The all-star lineup made my day at the Open a dream come true, to say the least.
I took the 7 train to Willets Point, which is a stop right between Mets Stadium and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. I got to my seat in the promenade of Arthur Ashe stadium at about 10a.m. On my way to my seat, I saw tennis legend Nick Bollettieri! I wanted to ask him for a photo, but he was talking to someone and seemed engaged in the conversation.
First up was the main reason I was there! Serena Williams! Her 4th round match versus Daniela Hantuchova was to start at 11a.m. Serena had a very easy time winning the match 6-2, 6-0 in about an hour.
After Serena’s match was finished, the man I hope wins the tournament, world No.3 Rafael Nadal took to the court. He was very energetic, powerful, and played very well in beating the 32 seed, Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
The last match of the day session might have been the most anticipated. It was world No.3 Venus Williams versus 2005 champion, and wild card, Kim Clijsters. Clijsters is back after 2 years off, and without a ranking. Clijsters ended up winning the match 6-0, 0-6, 6-4. It was kind of sad to see Venus lose the match because her leg was very heavily taped, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
After the day session on Arthur Ashe stadium was over, I ran as quickly as I could over to Louis Armstrong stadium to see the Williams sisters doubles match versus Caroline Wozniacki and Sorana Cirstea. But when I got there, the match between world No.6 Juan Martin del Potro was just finishing up. He played unseeded Daniel Koellerer, and won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
After the men’s singles match, the Williams sisters came on and I got fantastic seats! I was literally about 6 feet from the court and took lots of awesome pictures. Before the match began I had to get to a closer seat and had to shift my way around Oracene Price, their mother! Oracene is just as popular of a person as Serena and Venus in the tennis-world. Anyone who is a fan of Venus or Serena is a fan of Oracene. Also, Serean’s boyfriend, rapper Common, was in the stands. You can see the picture here. He’s the one in the blue shirt. Oracene is the one in red just behind him.
The best part of the night happened after the doubles match. I was leaving Louis Armstrong stadium with the rest of the crowd when I suddenly hear everyone clapping and cheering. I look behind me to see what people are clapping about, and Venus and Serena are literally walking RIGHT BEHIND me! I couldn’t believe it. I was walking out of the stadium with Serena Williams! My battery was dying on my camera, so the flash didn’t take, but as you can see in the picture below I was literally right next to her.
Needless to say I had an absolute blast fulfilling my dreams at the U.S. Open, and being able to walk out of Louis Armstrong Stadium with the one and only Serena Williams. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love her, and how blessed I am to have been there. I can’t wait to go again next year. Maybe I’ll go to the Australian Open in January!
Richard Williams Brings the LOLs! September 3, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Sports, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Dinara Safina, Richard Williams, Serena Williams, tennis, U.S. Open., Venus Williams, WTA
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The sometimes controversial father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams has really brought the LOLs lately. In a bizarre situation in women’s tennis, Serena Williams who has won 3 of the last 4 majors, and 11 overall, is ranked No.2 in the world behind Russian Dinara Safina, who has never won a major.
When asked what he thought about the situation, Richard Williams said:
“I think she’s playing great tennis. I think she deserves to be No. 1. I’ll tell ya something else, no one wants to play Sanowa, or whatever her name is. That girl hits that ball.”
That’s right, Richard Williams just called Dinara SAFINA…Sanowa.
Tennis fans will love this.
Serena Williams Wins 2 Grand Slam Titles In One Day! July 4, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Uncategorized.
Tags: Andy Roddick, Australian Open, Dinara Safina, Grand Slam, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, tennis, Venus Williams, Wimbledon, WTA Tour
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Earlier today at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club in London, England, Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams to win her 3rd Wimbledon Singles Title, 11th Grand Slam Singles Title, and then partnered with Venus to win the Ladies’ Doubles title as well! How many people can say they won 2 Grand Slam titles in one day?
It was a similar scenario this year at the Australian Open back in January when Serena beat Dinara Safina for the singles title, and later partnered with Venus to win the Womens’ Doubles title. Last year Venus beat Serena for her 5th Wimbledon crown, and again went on to pair with her sister to win the Ladies’ Doubles title in 2008. Later that summer, the two would pair to win the Olympic gold medal in Womens’ Doubles as well.
Despite the fact that Serena Williams now holds 3 of the 4 yearly Grand Slam titles, she is still not the No.1 player in the world. Somehow the world No.1 ranking goes to Dinara Safina who was blasted off the court by Venus Williams in the semifinals 6-1, 6-0, and has never won a Grand Slam title. The WTA’s quantity over quality reflection of the rankings is a sad moment in professional sports when 1 person holds 3 of the 4 slams.
I hate to toot my own horn here, but I totally called this two weeks ago, right here on this very blog! Scroll down or click here to see my predictions from a few weeks ago. I also got 3/4 men’s semifinals, and the final right. I will find out tomorrow if (6) Andy Roddick beats the 5 time Wimbledon champion (2) Roger Federer. It’s a huge mountain to climb, but something is telling me this is Roddick’s chance.
Congratulations to Serena AND Venus for making tennis history today!
Wimbledon iPhone App June 25, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in App Talk, Geek Talk, iPhone, Movies/Film, Sports, technology, Television, tennis, Travel.
Tags: app, Apple, iPhone, iPod, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Wimbledon
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The All England Lawn and Tennis Club has released an iPhone app with all kinds of Wimbledon goodies in it!
Besides updating scores every 30 seconds, the app also offers Wimbledon-related news stories, the schedule and order-of-play, a view of the draw for all events, and even video highlights.
The best part is that it’s free! Check out the Wimbledon app here if you’re following the Championships this fortnight.
My Wimbledon 2009 Predictions June 22, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Personally John, Sports, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Andy Roddick, England, London, Novak Djokovic, predictions, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Sports, tennis, Venus Williams, Wimbledon, Wimbledon predictions
Every year my summer is consumed by the French Open and Wimbledon. And every grand slam of the year, I fill out a bracket (as most do with March Madness) to determine who I think will win each slam. Back in 2004 when Maria Sharapova was just an up and coming, I pitted her against Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, even when Sharapova was the No.13 seed. That was unheard of, but it came true! I had Serena winning, but Maria won convincingly to become the lowest seeded player to ever win Wimbledon. That stat was changed the very next year when Venus Williams was seeded No.14 and won.
I’ve filled out the entire draw sheet based on what I think will happen. I will update later with how many of the first round matches I got right (and the percentage) in hopes of keeping a record here on my blog for those of you who are tennis fans. I’ll say that I know the women’s game better and predict that my percentage of correct guesses will be much higher in that bracket. We’ll see!
So after a few tough decisions, a lot of consideration, and a lot of time and paper wasted, here are my predictions for the semifinals, finals, and champions of both the men and the women’s draws for the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.
Semifinal 1: (6) Roddick vs. (3) Murray
Semifinal 2: (4) Djokovic vs. (2) Federer
Final: (6) Roddick vs. (4) Djokovic
Champion: (6) Andy Roddick
Semifinal 1: (5) Kuznetsova vs. (3) V. Williams
Semifinal 2: (12) Bartoli vs. (2) S. Williams
Final: (3) V. Williams vs. (2) S. Williams (repeat of 02, 03, and 08 finals)
Champion: (2) Serena Williams
Serena Williams Hit Me Up On Twitter!! April 24, 2009Posted by johnthrasher in Geek Talk, Movies/Film, Music, Personally John, Sports, Television, tennis, Travel.
Tags: Australian Open, French Open, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, tennis, Twitter, Venus Williams, Wimbledon
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I woke up this morning to see Serena Williams Twittering the heck out of pretty much anyone who wrote to her. Being mildly obsessed with this woman for the last 8 years I immediately jumped on the opportunity. She quickly wrote back with:
“Hey @jthrasher!!! Thank you for following along with me & showing support..”
If there were one person on this entire planet that I would want to @ reply me, it would be Serena Williams. No joke. She’s been my inspiration to play since I first picked up a racquet.