The Backhand

The Backhand: Weekend Outlook

Stuart Barefoot

Tennis wise it may be a rather quiet weekend coming up, but here are some stories that may be of interst:
Roger federer is still contemplating carrying Switzerland's flag during the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympics. Being his usual nice self, the 17-time grand slam and most recent Wimbledon champion says he might pass the honor on to someone else. If he does it will be a nice gesture, but no one is more deserving than Federer. It should be noted that Federer has been the flag bearer for the past two summer Olympics, so maybe the novelty has start to wear off for him. We will just have to wait and see.
Players at the U.S Open stand to make more money this year. Total prize money increased from $23.7 million to $25.5 million. While the winner for both the men's and the women's singles will get $100,000 more this  year than last it's the lower ranked players who will benefit most from this. Payouts in the opening two rounds increased 21 and 19 percent respectively. Apparantly top dogs like Djokovic, Federer (see he's so so nice!) Nadal and Murray met with all of the head honchos and negotiated pay increases for players who lose in earlier rounds of grand slam tournaments. It appears that everyone has each other's backs.
Are you not in love with Roger Federer yet? That may change in about four and a half seconds. When he beat Andy Murray last week, he not only tied the all time record for Wimbledon championships, but he made a lot of money for a charity. According to this story from Yahoo! Sports Busted Racquet, a man named Nick Newlife from Oxfordshire, England bet $2,000 that Federer would break the Wimbledon Championships record. He did that in 2003, and was given 66/1 odds that he would win seven titles in twenty years. It took him nine. When Newlife died three years ago, he left the betting slip to his wife in his will. She in turn, gave it to a charity who proceeded to win $157,750.
Need more Federer stories? Rick Reily over at ESPN has a not so original, but all the same thoughtful take  on Federer. It's hard to compare two people from different sports, but it's a conversation worth having. Really, by asking "who's better, Tiger or Federer?" Reily is starting arguments, not finishing them. 
Some Fun Stuff for You:
This couldn't be video of the week, but it's worth seeing. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is an awesome tennis player to say the very least. The WSO is really fortunate to have him, and hopefully everyone in the triad is looking forward to watching him play tennis next month. We may not, however be forward to watching him dance:
Meet Rufus the Hawk:  We've been hearing about the bird who was stolen, and mysteriously left in its carrying cage for the public to find. The owner was (with good reason) overjoyed to have him back, and the world finally got to meet the Hawk we'd been hearing so much about. He even has a twitter account. Follow him @RufusTheHawk 

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