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LaRosa's Sweet Spot: Nov 26, 2008

11/26/2008 1:40:00 PM

LaRosa's Sweet Spot Main Page

Nov 26, 2008

To my international readers, we here in the United States celebrate something called "Thanksgiving," where we give thanks for those things we're most grateful for. (It's better than rubbing our hands together giggling over all those pox infested blankets we unloaded lo those many years ago.) 

To that end, I'm taking this week to give big high fives (and no small pox) to a few of the people, places and things that, while perhaps under the radar a bit, undoubtedly bring their own unique flavor to what would otherwise be a dry, tasteless sport.

Pass the cranberry sauce.

Fabrice Santoro: As you seemingly wind down your career, I'm bummed to say the least. Simply put, no one plays like the Magician, certainly not on the men's tour where every shot these days is a missile from the baseline. Thank you for showing how else it can be done. Hopefully some crafty junior player with a gap in their smile was paying attention.

Eastbourne: After months of exhaustive red clay, it's a refreshing treat to finally be back on the green stuff. And where would Nicolas Mahut be without it?

Adidas Barricade IVs. You make my feet feel so good! 

Marion Bartoli: Is there anyone who takes the court with as much baggage? Either she's the most victimized player on tour, or she loves that cross. Either way, she just seems haunted and hunted with every ball she strikes. She may be the poor man's Monica Seles with that two-hander off both sides, but Maid Marion is richest where it counts the most. Drama. And for that I thank you.

Pam Shriver: She's biting, she's sharp, she's funny as hell. And she goes the extra mile. While covering the YEC final, when Venus came out of the gates slow as molasses, what did Pam do? Oh, you know, just texted Serena's agent on-air to find out if big sis was injured. With Pam, no one is safe. And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Tennis Booty: All we hear about are the injuries tennis delivers unto players, but lets tip our hat to the biggest benefit of hitting the courts. A million-dollar badunkadunk. Don't believe me? Find me a player, man or woman, who doesn't put a Kardashian to shame. And yes kids, this is something you CAN try at home.

There is no better trophy than the Pacific Life Open whale.
Radek Stepanek: Who else can pull off The Worm after a hard-fought victory? He can give even Fed himself a run for his money. And he's the undisputed pimp daddy of the ATP, snagging both Martina Hingis and Nicole Vaidisova. I'll have what he's having.

The Indian Wells trophy: A whale of a good time! 

Adje!: Move over vamos and allez, there's a new exclamation in town. And it's hella fun to say. Next time you're on court, give this Serbian battle cry a whirl. But I warn you, once you go adje...

Alison Lang: Who doesn't love Edina Monsoon umpiring a tennis match? Fab slice, sweetie. Pass the Stoli.

Hopman Cup: Okay, this tournament is hardly under the Sweet Spot radar. I'm shameless in my love of this little Australian gem with the obscene diamond-entrusted tennis ball trophies. But this is the only tournament that thanks you right back. Just look at last year's entry list and check out how many of them went on to Slam success in '08. Everybody wins!

Mirka Vavrinec: Roger's galpal and Master of his Universe. No one chomps gum and works a cell phone like she does. Has she ever given an interview? If so, I haven't read it. Call me, babe. Sure, you can do it during the match.

Men's Doubles: The YEC and Masters Cup offered little in terms of drama. Except for men's doubles. Besides the year end #1 being up for grabs, the matches by and large were spectacular. Plus those guys are all lunatics, you just know it. I love lunatics.

Madrid Ballgirls: Why have one Gisela Dulko when you can have 50 running around chasing balls? And don't they each look like they're on the make for a husband each and every time they arrive at a player with a towel? Meat market, court 2.

Patty Schnyder: As "third set hair" sweeps the nation (I've already copyrighted it so back off, Wertheim), let me go on record as saying Wacky Patty has so much more to offer. Her strokes are as loopy as she is. And that storied past. And her desire to publish it all in a yet-to-be-released book The White Mile that, according to its accompanying funhouse of a site, is so named because "a mile can very very long, especially if it is a white one"? Are you kidding me? Thank God for Patty Schnyder.

Vince Spadea: Spadea ain't afraid-e-a. 'Nuff said.

The Post-Match Double Cheek Kiss: I feel classier just watchin' it!

Jill Craybas: Just cuz.

You all: Blathering on and on to no one makes me crazy. Blathering on and on to you all makes me employed. But please, with the comments, could you try not to be more clever than I am? I can be replaced you know. More thanks for making the Sweet Spot the #1 tennis blog on facebook. I'll shove the link where you can join here one more time because I'm also a fan of dead horses.

I'm stuffed. 

What are you most thankful for?