What’s up with that name? ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It looks like part of the name is missing and that’s accurate in a way. It’s name comes from “des hertogen bosch”, Dutch for the Duke’s forest. The name also brings to mind the painter Hieronymus Bosch who painted The Garden of Earthly Delights, a fantastical and somewhat gruesome painting of the garden where Adam and Eve wandered. That would be accurate too, Bosch was born and lived in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The city lies in the south of Holland and was founded as a fortress town in 1185. It won the award as European Fortress City of the year in 2004. I’m not sure why such an award is necessary in our day and age unless they’re expecting modern day marauders. Probably won’t help. Most violence today comes from within the city, not without.

It was originally name Snotingaham, “the home of Snot’s people, ” after the Saxon chieftain Snot

Nottingham, England, goes back even further. It was founded around the year 650 by Anglo-Saxon invaders. It’s name was shortened too. It was originally name Snotingaham, “the home of Snot’s people, ” after the Saxon chieftain Snot. I’m not making this up. Actually, it should be ‘s-Nottingham.

If you’re wondering why I’m going on and on here it’s because there isn’t much happening in tennis this week. To give you an idea, Nicolas Alamagro, the clay court surprise of the year who has played, and lost, only one match on grass his entire professional life, is seeded at Nottingham. Andy Roddick should be playing after losing to fellow American James Blake just for the practice. Roddick hasn’t exactly been playing deep into tournaments in the last few months.

I have the number one seed at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Nikolay Davydenko, losing in the first round to Philipp Kohlschreiber since Davydenko is 1-8 on grass. Juan Carlos Ferrero has a surprisingly good record on grass so I have him through to the semifinals. Joining him are Tomas Berdych and Kohlschreiber and my winner, Mario Ancic. Ancic won his first, and only, title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch last year.

Max Mirnyi has a good record on grass so I have him in the semifinals at Notthingham. I have Olivier Rochus there too because I don’t trust Paul-Henri Mathieu. I’ve picked Richard Gasquet to win it but I’m not being entirely original this week. He also won his first, and only, title at Nottingham last year.

My team is made up of my eight semifinalists: Gasquet, Paradorn Srichaphan, Rochus, Mirnyi, Kohlschreiber, Ancic, Berdych and Ferrero. Doubles team: Martin Damm and Leander Paes, that was the only team I recognized in either of the doubles draws.


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