Odesnik outrage, Roddick clay-court prognosis, more mail
Dozens of you, surprised by seeing Odesnik's name in the scores barely a week after news of his guilty plea, asked the same question. Here's
"Wayne Odesnik is entitled to due process under the Tennis Anti-Doping Program, just as you and I are entitled to this protection under our legal systems. He has not as yet been found guilty of a doping offense under the rules of the TADP and therefore is allowed to play. In order not to prejudice the player's ability to defend himself in his criminal case, the TADP decided to await the outcome of those proceedings rather than run concurrently, but began the process immediately once the decision of the Australian Court was taken. The player is entitled to put forward a defense and this can take some time and he has elected not to take a provisional suspension. Whether or not we feel this is good for the image of tennis, he has that right and the ITF and ATP have an obligation to honor it. Again the TADP affords every player the right of due process. We believe that this is in the long-term best interests of everyone concerned."
I'm not quite sure I get this. It seems to me that if he's already pled guilty to what amounts to an anti-doping violation, due process has been granted. And especially given that the burden of proof is surely higher in a criminal court than in any TADP proceeding, I can't imagine what defense could be put forth to avoid a suspension. This is a damned-either-way situation, but there's just something fundamentally wrong about letting Odesnik continue to compete, given the circumstances.
To your points, you can't blame the Houston tournament. Events can't make these determinations independently (see:
But I think most of the blame falls on Odesnik. Simply put, in the face of some pretty damning circumstances -- again, we're talking about a guilty plea here -- he should have had the good graces to lay low for a few weeks. In the event, however unlikely, that there are mitigating or exculpating circumstances, he'll get back to work soon enough. In the event that the ITF imposes a suspension (as expected), he's likely going to have to forfeit his rankings and prize money this week anyway. By playing this week, he is making a bad situation worse and putting an awful lot of parties in an awkward position.
Never fear. The mighty
The ties are broken by the player with the most mandatory tournament points, meaning Grand Slam and ATP World Tour Masters 1000.
I don't think that's necessarily the case. There are definitely "bail out" drop shots that express a lack of confidence and "tactical" drop shots that are used strategically. To me, the fine-line classification is between "aggressive" and "foolish." If you pull off that screaming forehand up the line, you're bold and gutsy. Miss it by a few inches and you're impatient.
That's pretty optimistic. Clay is just a different beast. If Roddick gets to the second week in Paris, it will be an achievement.
As a wise man said, "Sponsorship is always great."
Ironically, I'm told that Gilbert worked briefly with Young on an informal basis last summer. For whatever reason, the relationship didn't develop into anything formal. I agree with you that Gilbert's track record speaks for itself. On the other hand, Agassi, Roddick and Murray are elite, elite players. Young has -- and I hope that's the right tense -- a lot of potential. But we're talking about a kid with limited weapons, questionable work habits and not a great strength or fitness foundation, who's won only a handful of tour-level matches. There's also the "parental propinquity" issue. Most coaches aren't going to react well to having a helicopter parent. But I suspect that for a coach of Gilbert's prestige, the thought of "co-coaching" -- much less being undermined -- is a deal breaker.
Good answer, good answer, as they say on
On the other hand ...
One of you joked that
Is there a third option?
I'm just happy you heard about it. In parts of the U.S., it was just a rumor. Again, we're flogging a dead horse, but don't you forfeit the right to call yourself the fifth major when some of your most anticipated matches are not televised?
This is Exhibit 4,320 in tennis' congenital screwed-up-ness. Name me another sport in which the governing bodies have no say vis-a-vis the television coverage.
Last question on television coverage for a while. But I hope the gatekeepers read remarks like this and realize just how dire this situation has gotten.
I think Serena's remarks, snide as they were, support the view that she sniffs at the concept of the rankings. Her point was essentially: "I'm not going to jump through hoops and travel to Katmandu to appease the computer. I don't care what the numbers say: I know who's the real No. 1."
• Thanks to the many of you who wrote in volunteering to help with our "tennis analytics" project. Who knew there were so many mathematically inclined tennis fans? I'm happy to look at any metrics you come up with. But I think the real issue is one of data accumulation. That is, if the numbers don't exist, how do you build the model?
• After popping into Miami, I'm more convinced than ever that a player armed with real data could have a HUGE advantage over the competition. For instance, think about
• This week's unsolicited book recommendation:
• Who speaks German? I've never heard "Las Vegas"
• New Chapter Press announced the
• From anonymous: "A 16-year-old junior USTA competitor,
• New York readers considering supporting Luke's Rock N' Roll Stroll II,
"On top of that, we watched Federer take one of the practice courts with
Have a great week, everyone!