Saturday February 11th, 2012

Earlier this week, the BNP Paribas Open site asked a number of players what song they'd like playing when they walk onto the court. The answers were fairly predictable, though I am still trying to wrap my head around why anyone would choose Nickelback, let alone specifically identify its newest album (it has more than one album?).

I jest. Kind of.

But it did get me thinking: What songs should the players use? Eighteen hours later and only 1/8th through my iTunes library, this is what I came up with.

Novak Djokovic: Sabotage, Beastie Boys. The perfect song for the most dominant man in tennis. It's in your face, there is screaming (oh, how Djokovic loves to scream) and it describes exactly what he's done in an era that many thought would be all about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. You're right, Novak. Guess our crystal ball ain't so crystal clear.

*****

Serena Wiliams: Ms. New Booty, Bubba Sparxx. Serena talks about her booty, she talks about Rafa's booty and she is very proud of both their booties (as she should be). As such, this one's pretty obvious.

*****

Rafael Nadal: Vamos, The Pixies. Sure, it's called "Vamos," which obviously makes it suitable for the Spaniard. But besides the title, this gem from The Pixies just sounds like Nadal. The steady build-up, the kinetic guitar riff, the relentless and driving rhythm -- it's all intense, frantic and purposeful. Just like Rafa.

*****

Victoria Azarenka: Seether, Veruca Salt. "Oh, she may not look like other girls, but she's a snarl-toothed seether, seether!" Sound like anyone we know? The Australian Open champ may have found a new way to give off the impression of calm on the court, but even she admitted during the tournament that she's still boiling underneath.

*****

Andy Murray: Feel Good, Inc., Gorillaz. It opens with what sounds like a sarcastic, maniacal laugh, and the whole tune has a sinister feel to it. All perfect for tennis' emotional roller coaster that is Andy Murray. Besides, the chants of "Feel good" throughout the song have to be a helpful reminder to the Scot, right?

*****

Caroline Wozniacki: Push It, Salt-n-Pepa. Everyone from ex-coach Ricardo Sanchez and Adidas consultant Sven Groeneveld to fans and pundits around the world have gone hoarse discussing Wozniacki's need to become more aggressive. After firing Sanchez, it's unclear how aggressively (heh) she'll pursue a more offensive game. For now, relatively speaking, she's a pusher. But to her credit, she pushes it real good.

*****

John Isner: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy, Big & Rich. A tribute to the big Southern boy's roots.

*****

Agnieszka Radwanska: She's Crafty, Beastie Boys. "The girl is crafty like ice is cold." If that doesn't accurately describe the "Polish Ninja," then I don't know what would.

*****

Petra Kvitova: Cannonball, The Breeders. Her shots definitely recall the firepower of a cannonball, but it's the subdued nature of this song (peppered by the explosive chorus) that makes it perfect for Kvitova. I mean, could you see her walking out to some hyped-up jam that makes you beg the DJ to turn down the volume? Nope.

*****

Roger Federer: Forgot About Dre, Dr. Dre feat. Eminem. The day that Roger Federer recaptures his glory and wins another Slam, I fully expect his post-final press conference to encapsulate the sentiment behind this song. In a very Swiss and non-profane way, of course.

***** What songs would you choose for players? Sound off in the comments.

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