Sunday May 30th, 2010

We had fog and Fognini. Cat fights and chat fights. Discussions about lace (Venus) and discussions about pace (Nadal). Oh, and they played some tennis, too. Through seven days at the French Open -- and Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin deadlocked at a set apiece -- we dispense midterm grades.

Wiliams-Williams: The sisters, as always, are doing it for themselves. Why, they look as though they're the top two players in the world.

Novak Djokovic: Breezes through week one and nice to see he's back in the impersonation business.

Kimiko Date Krumm: Unretired 39-year-old scores one of the bigger upsets of the first week, taking out a shaky Dinara Safina -- the WTA's top player not long ago -- in round one. Barely able to maneuver, Date Krumm lost her next match, but what a great story.

Robby Ginepri: Forgotten American marches into Week Two. And with the Bryan Brothers upset in the doubles he is the last Yank in Paris.

Australian women: A new clay-court powerhouse? Both Sam Stosur and Jarmila Groth still in the draw.

Sebastien Grosjean: Buried amid the blizzard of the match results, French veteran (and south Florida resident) calls it a career. The ATP's good guy quotient just went down by one. (And same for another Frenchie, Camille Pin, who began her announcement by declaring: "Thank you for coming. Sorry. I've drunk two glasses of champagne on a bare stomach. ... I wanted to be totally drunk, totally pissed here. I thought it would be funny to be pissed during my interview.")

Television coverage: Few complaints from you guys so far, notwithstanding ESPN's decision to air tape-delayed coverage on Friday. The Tennis Channel and its "grounds pass" vibe draws rave reviews from those who get it.

Justine Henin: Looked surprisingly shaky, but she's still in the mix. Which is all that really matters.

Venus's attire: Anyone can-can have an opinion. You love the "bold" and "daring" look. You hate the "burlesque soft porn." Hey, at least folks are talking tennis.

American men: A strong start and then a weak finish.

French players: The hosts leave the party early, as only Jo-Wilfried Tsonga remains.

Sam Querrey: In a weird way, you're tempted to hail the guy for his bracing self-assessment. But this is just bizarre stuff. OK, you've been overseas a while. The food isn't what you're used to. The surface isn't your favorite. The hotels are small. The Lakers games don't start until three in the morning. You've heard the Scorpions' "Winds of Change" -- the unofficial anthem of Europe -- about 67,000 times. Still, you're 22, you're a top-20 player and you ain't exactly working the blast furnace for a living. You can't lose in the first round and then tip your hand like this.

Viktoria Azarenka: Miserable stretch continues as she loses in round one. Then compounds poor play with poor form as she blows off the post-match press conference, earning her a $4,000 fine.

Playing conditions: Paris, City of Lights? We had darkness. We had rain. We had brooding skies. And if the balls were any heavier players would be inclined to look for three finger holes and the reset button.

Prime ticketholders: The talk has been of relocating the event because it's outgrown the Roland Garros faciliy. You'd never it know looking at the first rows of seats.

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