Federer's poise, security concerns, improving the sport and more
• Couldn't agree more. This was such a scary, bizarre, unpleasant -- and not even remotely amusing -- moment. But, yes, an unintended consequence was that it enabled us to get a glimpse of Federer's internal wiring. We talk about "fight or flight," but his reaction was really neither. It was abject fear followed by something approaching sympathy. Total non-confrontation. He later put it thusly: "It seemed like he wanted to give me something. So I was actually OK, because I saw he wasn't pulling for anything stupid. It definitely felt uncomfortable once he came close to me. ... Normally, they always kind of look at me and go, 'I'm so sorry I have to do this,' because they have some sort of a reason for it, you know. I remember the English guy [at Wimbledon in 2006] was actually quite funny. He looked at me and goes, 'I'm so sorry I have to do this.' I was like, OK, just don't touch me, you know."
Consider this: How many of us would have reacted with such restraint? How many other athletes -- macho, locked in combat -- would have reacted so demurely? How many other athletes, armed with a racket, would have resisted using it? Guy is lucky he picked on Federer. Otherwise, I suspect he'd meet the same fate as
• Obviously, there needs to be improved security. But what about the "punishment" phase? After the guards did their Detroit Lions imitation and missed a series of tackles, they finally got the guy and ... then what? No one is advocating anything too cruel or unusual here, but the best deterrent is to stiffen the penalties.
Several of you also noted that the reason the clowns charge the court is for attention and we're playing into their hands by holding extended discussions and, of course, replaying the video clips. Fair point. But I think it's naive to ignore this trend in hopes it will go away. Sadly, this has become as much a part of Grand Slam tradition as awkward awards ceremony. And the tournaments need to address it before it gets further out of hand, or worse.
• That was a biggie. But Henin hadn't won Wimbledon once, much less four years in a row! Many of you also referenced
• Interesting. Here's an anonymous e-mail I got on the same topic:
"You've touched on the empty seats at the majors before, but I have to agree that it's particularly glaring at Roland Garros this year. I am employed by [a main sponsor] and work closely with one of the people who organizes the institutional client seminars that are often planned around the fortnight (as an excuse for our big foreign institutions to send a few people to see a little world-class tennis). Due to the crisis, however, attendance at these seminars is WAY down this year -- probably because these pension funds (rightfully) have tightened the reins a bit on discretionary spending and are requiring that any travel demands get pre-approval as being both compliant and necessary (go figure). So a lot more of those prime seats have gone unused this year than normal. Not a good excuse, I know, but it probably has something to do with it."
2) Only in Cincy do blacktopping companies have boxes. (Love that event.)
3) When IMG asks, do I give it your e-mail?
• The clay court -- I suspect it was Har-Tru -- was at the "compound" in Florida. Chalk this up to another of
• Fair point.
• It's a good look-alike, but we've done this before. Nevertheless, we stop at nothing to show we're not afraid of Fox News. Since you brought up Henin, I thought there was something off-putting about her remarks at the French Open. She shows up mid-tournament (great), dispels comeback speculation (whatever makes you happy), discusses her charitable work as well as a music show she'll be hosting (OK, that's fair) ... and then proceeds to lament the absence of a reliable winner. ("I think the tour needs someone, a leader," Henin said.) Our next guest: Former Lehman Brothers chairman
• Federer gets his
• Thanks to
• Favor: Can we please stop the nonsense about Federer's French Open title being cheapened because he didn't have to face Nadal? It wasn't like Nadal wasn't in the draw, a la
• Here are
1. No lets on serves
• The streak of top men's seeds failing to win in Paris continues.
• Would one of you familiar with the world of Federer message boards (is there a vamosbrigade equivalent?) kindly contact me?
• Big props to
• If I'm the agent for
• From Slate's
Nose tw, Ind.: Hi Prudy, I know this is a bit out of left field, but I don't know who else to ask. Is there a term for when somebody has the exact same nose as you do?
If you have the same parents, you're siblings. And if you have the same job, you're coworkers. If you play basketball together: you're teammates. Same nationality: compatriots. Same house: roommates. But what's the term when you have the same nose? I ask because I have the exact same nose as Roger Federer.
Emily Yoffe: If you had the same swing as Roger Federer, then the resemblance might be worth talking about. I think this is one of those things that's best being your little secret.
• To my friends in the pool hustling world: Check out
Have a great week, everyone!