The Deuce Club, 11.27

by: Peter Bodo | November 27, 2008

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TENNIS.com

Fedsampras_thanksgiving

By Jackie, TW Social Director

(I know I had a Federer picture up last week, as well, but this one was too perfect to pass up!)

Happy Thanksgiving, TWibe! Before I get into the meat and potatoes - or turkey and potatoes? - of this post, I thought I'd go off-topic for just a moment (appropriate considering this is our OT space!).

First, I was pleasantly surprised to see some tennis coverage in a couple of mainstream publications this past week. The latest issue of ESPN Magazine features a breathtaking aerial photo of Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva playing their exhibition in Doha, to kick off the year-end championships. People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue also showcases some tennis hotties of its own - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Rifling through the issue, I wondered how only Fed and Rafa made it to their pages. Have they seen Feli?

Next, as promised, I present to you my year-end award recipients! You won't see anything that wasn't already expressed in last week's comments, but hopefully this is still of some interest to you:

Most Valuable Player
ATP: Rafael Nadal.
WTA: Serena Williams ... but Jelena Jankovic put up a good fight.
Most Improved Player
ATP: Andy Murray.
WTA: Oddly enough, I feel compelled to go with Elena Dementieva.
Breakout Player
ATP: Juan Martin del Potro.
WTA: I'd put Dinara Safina here, though she's just as worthy of being Most Improved.
Most Disappointing Player
ATP: Richard Gasquet.
WTA: Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Best Rivalry
ATP: This one's tough, but I'm going with Nadal vs. Djokovic because they had some real knockdown-dragout battles this season.
WTA: Jankovic vs. the rest of the WTA. Seems no one is happy she's #1!
Match of the Year, Best of 5 (excluding Wimbledon final)
Federer vs. Tipsarevic at the Australian Open, just because I nearly lost consciousness during that match.
Match of the Year, Best of 3
ATP: Nadal-Djokovic, Hamburg semifinal.
WTA: Serena-Venus, U.S. Open quarterfinal.

Who's excited for 2009?

Finally, as always, please check out our TennisWorld > Real World Facebook group and consider joining if you aren't already a member.

At this moment, I'll bet that the majority of you are either eating or recovering from your Thanksgiving feast. As Pete noted in his "Giving Thanks" post, Thanksgiving is synonymous with food, perhaps more so than any other holiday. They don't call it "Turkey Day" for nothin'! Yet, for vegetarians like myself, the day has nothing to do with turkey.

While I enjoyed the Thanksgiving sides more so than the turkey itself in my meat-eating days, I never thought to take the turkey out of the equation altogether. Yet that's exactly what came to pass the day my family and I took up vegetarianism. Our Thanksgiving meals are still lavish and delicious - we'll have stuffing, mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, rice, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more - but it does seem like an affront to the Thanksgiving Gods to not have that bird on the table as its centerpiece.

Yes, I've tried the meatless wonder that is tofurky and found it to be a poor substitute for the real thing - and pretty disgusting to boot. (To be fair, the one time I tried it was several years ago, so I imagine it's improved over time.)

Still, Thanksgiving isn't only about turkeys, pies, and elastic waistbands. It's a time to celebrate family ... and, of course, to give thanks. While I'm on the subject, I'd like to thank you, dear TWibe, for welcoming me as Social Director and for bringing these Deuce Club posts to life. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

(Okay, I can't lie. This year, I'm not doing a big Thanksgiving dinner. Heck, I'm not even with my family. They're out of town, so I'm spending the day with a co-worker and her parents ... and our Thanksgiving meal is taking place at an Italian restaurant. Not a traditional celebration by any means, but it'll do.)

Now it's time for you to share! What does your Thanksgiving meal look like, and what's your favorite dish out of the spread? Do you have any special recipes you're willing to give out?

We can also use this space to discuss today's football action. As I speak, the Seahawks and Cowboys are going at it, and later tonight the Cardinals and Eagles will be in action. Who are your picks?

Before I sign off, I wanted to mention that I plan on reprising the Annual TW Awards, where we give out awards to members of the TWibe. I can't do this alone, so please take some time to think of your honors, and send me an e-mail with your thoughts. Remember, they can be whatever you want them to be - the more creative, the better. (Some examples from last year include the Man, This Is So Creative and Funny I Just Wish I Knew What It Meant award and the It Really Blows Being a KAD for Someone Whom So Many People Dislike award.) I'll be compiling the awards over the next few weeks, so make sure you get your ideas in!

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