Tennis on Twitter: Our Top 10 List
SportsIllustrated.com released its Twitter 100 list this week to much ballyhoo. The lineup includes those sports mavens—athletes and observers—that the site deems most worthy of your following eyes, those who dish out the best and latest in sports "infotainment."
Basketball led the way with 20 pros, journos, and other personalities represented. With four entries, tennis was fairly well if a bit dubiously represented. Even so, stalwart scribe Matthew Cronin (@TennisReporters) made the list, the sole tennis writer to do so. (Full disclosure: Cronin works for TENNIS.com as well as other media outlets.) The dubious part of this list is that the other three tennis-centric appearances are all of Serbian descent. That would be Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole), Andrea Petkovic (@andreapetkovic), and Janko Tipsarevic (@TipsarevicJanko).
To be sure, the fresh ATP No. 1 and the pro affectionately referred to as "Petkorazzi" are both grade-A pranksters and persons of interest. They wield Twitter wisely and wickedly, in the best way. It's Tipsarevic's inclusion here that merits dissent. He typically spouts off not-so-sweet nothings that basically amount to boasts about his top-ranked countryman's exploits on the court. It's a very odd brand of braggadocio from one who possesses as many singles titles (zero) as the oft-maligned Anna Kournikova.
End vent. Without further bluster here of my own, a makeshift Tennis Twitter Top 10, in no order at all:
Greg Sharko (@SharkoTennis): Sharko has a God-given knack (no, Federer did not dole it out to him) for stat-tastic tweets since hopping the tweet-wagon intently in late 2010. Most everyone in tennis turns to him when a query arises about a particular player's numbers or, say, the last time a lefty South American with braces who trained in a leper colony when young went on to win Wimbledon (answer: never).
Zoo Tennis (@zootennis): Colette Lewis knows what's up at the junior, university, and Challenger levels, all. Want to get an early take on the next John Isner, as opposed to the next Donald Young? Follow her. Lewis' tweets are always on the mark and insightful, with a healthy, measured dose of opinion on occasion.
Laura Robson (@laurarobson5): The British teen momentarily put a scare into Maria Sharapova in Wimbledon's first week, but it's all laughs on her Twitter handle. Her photos never fail to amuse, as with this recent dispatch: "Harry Potter glasses + Gryffindor scarf ready for tomorrow. I really need to stop being so cool. http://lockerz.com/s/120137499"
James LaRosa (@JamesLaRosa): One of Tennis Channel's bright lights may be the observer of all things wonky and all players lovable in the sport. His Wednesday columns at TC's website often produce laugh-out-loud moments, which would be cliché to say if it weren't so plainly true. Good-natured snark is a weapon solely for the power of good, and LaRosa wields it well. He often weighs in on Twitter with a timely, thoughtful clip.
Forty Deuce (@FortyDeuceTwits): A super-fan with a plan, "C Note" opines on just about all on- and off-court happenings with wit and aplomb. Which is good, as she gamely roots for players who tend to lose spectacularly. But she keeps bleeding, and true enough, it must be love. Consider her feed, and companion blog, your irreverent guide to tenacious fandom.
Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim): As Sports Illustrated's own couldn't be included on the list, their resident tennis guru did not appear, but he's a top gun in tennis journalism, always knowledgeable, fair and well spoken. (The Ivy-educated lawyer thing helps.)
Kevin Fischer (@Kfish_WTA): The WTA's stats geek formerly worked for the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, and he knows and relishes his sports. A passion for the women's tour professionals and their accomplishments shines through daily, with engaging factoids aplenty peppered in.
Andy Roddick (@andyroddick): Even non-Rod fans can appreciate his sardonic humor and blunt demeanor. The prince of pressers also harbors a penchant for interesting, sometimes controversial posts that take on the ATP's powers-that-be, the tour schedule, and even himself.
Ivo Karlovic (@ivokarlovic): His results on court have dipped, but the lanky, huge-serving Croatian has upped his online "game" with tweets that induce both chuckles and shakes of the head. Sample output: "Just went in Dash store. Didn't know Kardashians have their own water. I'm sure it's anything but pure."
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (@BMATTEK): The current American women's No. 1 may not hold that title by year's end, but for now she and her ALL-CAPS handle are rocking the tour with her outlandish style and childlike sense of wonder. Bold and brash, BMS transcends tennis in that, while her big-match results don't quite impress, she remains water-cooler fodder thanks to cunning self-marketing and a knack for talking back (as when she replied to one detractor by calling him a "knob").
So who did I miss? Who else should I be following? Drop me a line on Twitter.
—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)