For a guy who takes pains to be anonymous -- that's the ATP marketing team cringing in the corner -- Davydenko is sure boosting his profile with his play. In his last two events, he is 4-0 against Federer and Nadal, with wins against
It will be interesting to see how Davydenko performs in Melbourne. He should be riding a swell of confidence; but by now we know he's not wired like most players. And while he's looked like a world-beater these last two tournaments, there is, of course, a difference between a tour event -- even the Masters Cup -- and a best-of-five Slam.
I'm still not quite a believer that Davydenko can win the whole Vegemite sandwich in Melbourne. He lacks the big serve, he lacks finals experience and his steady, opportunistic, efficient tennis is particularly effective against tired and unhealthy opponents, which is rarely the case so early in the season. Also, as well as Davydenko has been playing, he's still only ranked No. 6, which means his draw in Melbourne will be rough. Still, I give the guy a heaping amount of credit, both for his recent achievements and for overcoming an unpleasant bit of history.
As for Andrew's question, a few months ago
Look for Australian Open seed reports when the draw comes out later this week. ....
Presumably, Mickey Washington of Memphis also thought Google was a fly-by-night start-up artificially propped up by the Internet bubble; reality television was a fad; and
"Rusty," for the uninitiated, is
I think Hewitt is a valid choice. And, as he aged and mellowed and soldiered on despite a beat-up body, he has become a lot easier to like and respect. But if we're being honest here, he really wasn't much of a force for the entire second half of the decade.
Given the state of Davydenko's career (and reputation) not all that long ago, if I'm Eduard, nothing makes me cringe these days. Life is good. Plus, I suspect my wacky brother is simply playing rope-a-dope.
Very good. Assuming you're limiting to men, the best I can do is Agassi, who has four majors and three runner-up trophies.
I think most fans would be surprised by the pairings on the practice court. Can't say I've ever seen Federer and Nadal practice together but it wouldn't surprise me. The men aren't particularly picky. "Just because I might not personally like the guy, doesn't mean I can't bat around balls with him for 90 minutes," seems to be the prevailing sentiment. The women are a bit pickier but, then again, many simply opt to hit with their coaches. We'll say it again: The practice courts are the great unkept secret in tennis.
They're playing doubles together again, yes.
Leaving aside the
Several of you raised the same point. Let's hope this will usher in a new era and wasn't simply turn-back-the-clock night.
Retired players are not subject to anti-doping protocol. I know of at least one player who was unsure about the status of her career but filed the retirement paperwork in part because she didn't want the WADA gendarmes knocking on her door at 6 a.m. while she was away from the sport. Before we draw too many untoward inferences here, I don't think players, male or female, are retiring so that they juice up without fear of detection.
Remember, too, that Petrova lost to
What is this term, "net judge"?
• Time for another
• From time to time, some of you have suggested we hold some sort of Mailbag benefit or fundraiser. I'm all for it, but the logistics have been tricky. Not everyone does PayPal, there are tax consequences, etc. If anyone has thoughts on how to set this up in an administratively efficient way, let me know.
• Aside to
• In case you missed it: Usually it's Roddick who
• A laurel and hearty welcome to
• The USTA named
• Philadelphia readers, our favorite mid-Atlantic artist,
• From SI.com's
"He beat me every time," Lucas said. "Can you imagine getting beat 82 nights in a row? We would shoot from spots, 10 shots from each spot. I would hit nine shots, he'd hit 10. I'd be right there to win, and then at the end I would just choke. Eighty-two times."
At the end of the season, they agreed to play a tennis match. Lucas was a former All-America in tennis at Maryland, and he would play World TeamTennis professionally.
"I treated that match as if it was the U.S. Open," Lucas said. "Mike will tell you, 'I played the best tennis I've played in my life.' And he didn't come close to winning a game. I was treating it as if I was playing
"The whole time," Lucas said. "With my serve, I could make it go here, I could make it go there, and so I had him doing the
Have a great week, everyone!