• I'm surprised how often this comes up. Nadal's English is still vastly better than my Spanish (does Rosetta Stone have a money-back guarantee?) so I'm in no position to criticize. I mean, look, we should all be trying to learn Mandarin. But at some point we make a decision about optimizing our time. In this case, Nadal has made a decision that those "couple hours a week" are better spent practicing. So be it.
I might feel a bit different if he were playing in the U.S. -- I remember once talking to
• Nadal is a better clay-court tennis player than Federer, but Federer is the best player ever. Nadal "could" become the best tennis player ever, but is unlikely to be so because of the nature of his knees. They are both pretty darn unique in both their prodigious talents and prodigious good-guyness, and we should be thankful for their existence.
• Very good.
• Lots of you complaining about this. Scheduling is always going to be subject to complaint. And while, yes, it was weird to see Nadal on Lenglen a) it's not exactly the hinterlands and b) imagine how psyched those fans must have been. There are seven rounds of the friggin' tournament. I don't think it's a tragedy if the top guys plays a few matches outside the Big House.
• I feel like we all need to be a little careful here. But, yes, it would be fun to see Monfils and Mina play together.
• This will never happen. Notice, though, who enters these events. They're basically the province of the second-tier players, eager for the points and prize money.
• You missed it? I had Ginepri upsetting Querrey and Safina going down to Date-Krumm. I'm doing awesome.
• I'm not sure what you're referring to. But this pertains to married men as a rule: All of our spouses should buy us underwear.
• There's this can-can dress that's all the rage in Paris ... I'm taking a break from fashion critique. But your note gives me an opportunity to link
• The USTA sent out a release noting it is awarding "more than $315,000 in Recreational Tennis Grants to 38 non-profit organizations across the country as part of a community building initiative." OK, this is cheap shot, but surely I wasn't the only person who did the math and noted this was less than two weeks of
• Recall our recent discussion about the dearth of players wearing sunglasses. Here's
"I've worn Oakley sunglasses since I was 14 years old," Stosur said. "I probably begged my mom and dad to go out and buy me a pair, and I remember they were yellow M Frames. I treated them very, very well."
Stosur spoke of the elements that challenge vision in tennis, and how Oakley sunglasses help her perform at her best.
"On the court, there's the sun, the glare and the heat, and anything else you can think of. If you can minimize the things that make it difficult to see, you're going to be in a lot better position to play well. With Oakley sunglasses, I am able to relax and see the ball when I toss it up to serve, even if the sun is in the way. I can't imagine not playing without my Oakleys. Sometimes you go out there and don't have them, and you realize how much they do help you."
• When you see those prime seats behind the baseline going unoccupied this week in Paris, spare a thought for the good folks at the ATP Houston event. Earlier this month, representatives of the US Men's Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club delivered a $10,120 check to the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. The money was raised through the tournament's annual Texas Children's "Ticket Turnback" program.
"When the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute opens this fall, it will bring scientists from a variety of disciplines together under one roof to gain a better understanding of how the human brain develops and functions and apply that knowledge to truly accelerate the search for new treatments for neurological disorders," said
The Texas Children's "Ticket Turnback" program allows fans to donate tickets to sessions they cannot attend back to the tournament. The River Oaks box office then resells the tickets at face value, and the full resale amount is donated to Texas Children's.
"It was a great pleasure to visit the hospital and personally present this check on behalf of our fans who helped make this donation possible," tournament chairman
"Our historic stadium at River Oaks fills up quickly," he said. "This 'Ticket Turnback' program allows us to benefit a wonderful program at Texas Children's while also making our tennis tournament accessible to more people, especially on the finals weekend which consistently sells out in advance."