1. He might not have the largest fan base and he might not rake in the endorsements, but it's awfully hard to deny Nikolay Davydenko his props. The Russian veteran won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, beating a "Who's Who" of men's tennis, including Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro in the final two matches. His powers of recovery were remarkable, as he played match after grueling match and still returned with sufficient reserves the following day. And, in a larger sense, his powers of recovery are admirable. He's returned from both injuries and an unfortunate controversy to reassert himself as a top-five player.
2. There were lots of complaints about the round-robin format in London, especially when Andy Murray -- the hometown favorite -- won two of three matches and, thanks to the math, was eliminated. Who knew the easily manipulated "total game winning percentage" could loom so large? Aaron White of San Marcos, Calif. was among several of you suggesting a double-elimination tournament instead with a Winners' Bracket and a Losers' Bracket (sample). I've seen this work in professional pool and agree it's preferable format whereby a player can win and still go home.
3. The fallout continues over the publication of the USTA executive salaries, which have staggered and, frankly, appalled, many of you, especially given the USTA's non-profit status. Two European readers who have already suggested this is all emblematic of the executive pay structure that helped trigger the recession. My question: Especially at a time when tennis is not exactly thriving here in the U.S. -- when the cupboard of junior players is awfully bare, when American tournaments are folding, when grassroots programs are lacking in funds and when colleges are cutting varsity programs -- how does the USTA board approve payouts like this? And don't think the ATP and WTA haven't cut and pasted these figures. I suspect the knowledge that USTA has the means to pay so many employees in excess of $700,000 a year -- including Arlen Kantarian's $9 million whopper -- will come in handy next time the tours ask for a U.S. Open prize money increase.
• Spain will try to win the Davis Cup yet again this weekend. This will double as a chance for Rafael Nadal to end a disappointing fall on an up note.
• The Bromantics, Mike and Bob Bryan, won the doubles in London.
• Exhibition season begins. Andy Roddick and James Blake will be here in New York this week. Check your local listings.
• Serena Williams finally learned her fate this week, a record $82,500 and two years probation. The fine will go up to $175,000 if she's guilty of another such "major offense" in 2010 or 2011. Nothing like swift justice.
• For a fine tennis read enter here.
• In the market for real estate?