Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Australian Open’
Posted: January 9th, 2014
lamp and the couchWhenever anyone is sick and confined to a couch, there’s the possibility of delirium. Well here I am. Armed with newspapers, magazines, the Internet and TV, I’ve learned some really important info and some totally ridiculous hooey.

YellenGood news: Janet Yellen, 67, became the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve — taking over the helm from Ben Bernanke. Go Janet! She is married to George Akerloff, a Nobel prize winner. They have one son, Robert, who is an economics professor.

velveetaThe hooey: How on Earth does Kraft run out of Velveeta? Sounds a little fishy to me. They run a huge ad campaign along with Ro-Tel tomatoes and there’s a shortage of Velveeta — an epic shortage that makes national news and Ad Age — the venerable advertising news mag that is as old as Velveeta. Here’s the Ad Age article, although it offers no more insight than any other news outlet as to how a company this big and this old announces a shortage. I mean Velveeta has a shelf life of months, and the company didn’t make enough? Someone fall asleep at the cheesemaking machine? Did a plant have a meltdown? And all coinciding with a huge ad campaign, NFL playoffs and a polar vortex?  I think someone is dumb like a fox.  

Serena WIlliamsGood news/bad news: Anyone over 30 will love this. A lot of tennis champions at the Australian Open are in their 30s. Reports out of Mebourne indicate that many top ranked players on the men and women’s sides are 30 and older. On the women’s side, Serena Williams is 32, and she could become the oldest player to complete a single-year Grand Slam. Li Na is 31. Venus Williams is 33 and although she isn’t in the top 20, she still has game. Injuries and illness have hurt her chances at championships — in fact I think she’s out for the Australian Open.

On the men’s side, Roger Federer is 32, Tommy Haas is 35 and David Ferrer is 31. All are in the top 20. This tells those who are older than 30 that tennis really is a sport for life, and those who are younger — prepare for battle — retiring is not an option for a lot of 30+ players, but winning is.

The Australian Open‘s qualifying rounds are underway with first round action starting Monday. 

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 23rd, 2013

Sloane StephensSloane Stephens, 19, earned a half million bucks last night, topped 35,000 Twitter followers and will likely break the top 10 in the Women’s Tennis Association. Her parents are Sybil Smith, a hall of fame swimmer at Boston University, and the late John Stephens, a former New England Patriots running back, who died in 2009.

Last night, Sloane Stephens made history at the Australian Open. She became the youngest American player to ever beat Serena Williams 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a quarterfinal match that ended at midnight, and I watched every minute.

She’s famous now, and this kid has some personality. The Wall Street Journal reported on her Twitter followers that include NBA star Shaquille O’Neal who told her, “When you defeat a legend, you become a legend. Keep it going.” The kid is in The Wall Street Journal.

She started a hide-and-seek game off the court — hiding a tennis ball with her name on it and tweeting clues on the grounds at the Australian Open.

ESPNW quoted her in a story:”This morning when I got up, I was like, ‘Look, dude, like, you can do this. Like, go out and play and do your best,’” Stevens said.

Williams, 31, has battled back from innumerable injuries during her stellar career. They include a blood clot, foot surgeries, countless sprains and back problems. Yet, every time she takes the court, she is impressive. Don’t ever count her out.

But Sloane Stephens is the new wave of tennis and a youngster to watch — especially since we’re all getting sick of hearing about lip syncing, Lance Armstrong and virtual girlfriends.

The games continue in Melbourne, and Sloane Stephens plays again later today — visit the official site for details.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three, grandmom to one and an avid tennis player for nearly 40 years. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 20th, 2013

b_sharapova_07_08It’s early morning tennis time!

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to appreciate the talents of Maria SharapovaNovak Djokovic and more at the 2013 Australian Open. I won’t spoil anything for anyone, but some great matches take place overnight.

Serbian Djokovic is playing this morning in a real nail-biter. Last year, he played in the final match that took 5 hours and 53 minutes — the longest final in history, but not the longest match by any means.

If you’re a tennis fan, early morning TV is live with the Aussie Open, or check out all the coverage at AustralianOpen.com.

Sharapova has had some great years and some real disappointments after shoulder surgery several years ago. She has been “steamrolling,” the Aussie websites say, this year. Good for her. Serena Williams is playing well also, but sister Venus is out of singles play.  But as a doubles team, the Williams sisters are still contenders.

Matches like these are something to see. For those of us who have played tennis every week for decades, or even if you just take the game up tomorrow — it’s great exercise, great fun and exciting to watch — especially live in the early mornings. G’day!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 29th, 2012

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to appreciate the talents of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. At the 2012 Australian Open, Serbian Djokovic was the winner with scores of 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5. It was a nail-biter of a record-setting match that took 5 hours and 53 minutes. If you don’t understand those scores, it’s OK — let’s just say it was really close. And long. It was the longest final in history, but not the longest match by any means.

I can’t say I watched every minute, but I watched the last half, and it was an incredible competition. Just imagine, pouring everything you’ve got onto the court for nearly six hours. No subbing in. No lunch and dinner breaks. No half time. You just keep playing, running, jumping and focusing on what you can do to close out a marathon match and win it.

In the end, Djokovic won. But don’t dare call Nadal a loser. As the commentators noted, it came down to a couple of points and lucky bounces. It was tough to watch anyone lose. And after that match, the awards ceremony seemed almost painful as some of the sponsors gave rather lengthy speeches. Poor Djokovic and Nadal were cramping and looked very uncomfortable waiting to accept their awards. Thankfully, the tournament folks saw their discomfort and delivered chairs and water bottles.

It was all good for the game and garnered tremendous interest much like the famous Isner- Mahut match at Wimbledon in 2010. American John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days, and it took 183 games. That match, not a final, was the longest ever, but there have been many matches among men and women that stretched past six hours. Wikipedia has them right here.

Matches like these are something to see. For those of us who have played tennis every week for decades, interesting finals bring excitement to the court — a place I love to play, but not in six-hour stretches.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 23rd, 2012

Serena Williams, the last of 21 US women and men in the first major tennis tournament of the year, was dismantled by Russian Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2, 6-3 last  night and I watched every minute.

It was painful to watch Williams, who has come back from innumerable injuries, including a blood clot, foot surgeries and countless sprains, in the past to win when you least expect her to pull it off. But last night, the 30-year-old was no match for 23-year-old Makarova, a lefty whose accuracy was impressive.

At the start of the second set, it appeared that Williams’ fire was back, but only for two games. Then Makarova continued painting the lines with shots and hitting well-placed, albeit slow serves, that seemed to confuse the veteran Williams. Makarova moved Williams back and forth behind the baseline in some long rallies. And Williams was her own worst enemy on her serve. She double-faulted an entire game away. But she peppered the court with some inspiring aces — but not enough to pull off the win.

I like to see the older players do well, but a fresh-faced Makarova is good for the sport. And she was fun to watch. We still have a few veterans in there. Kim Clijsters, the only mom on the tour at age 28, fought her way back into a match to win it. And Roger Federer, at age 30, is a huge on the men’s side.

The games continue in Melbourne this week.



Posted in: Uncategorized