Controversy abounds in women's game, starting with No. 1
• With all due respect (that was a joke) you make a lot of good points. Wozniacki didn't get ranking in a lottery; she earned it by winning matches. She's won two straight events and more than 50 matches this year. Of course, here's another way of looking at it: she's never won a major and made a deep run only once. She's never beaten
Ultimately, it's silly to argue, because this will break one of two ways. She'll either beat Sharapova and play deep in the second week (maybe even dignify her seeding and win the title), and the doubters will be silenced. Or she'll fall before Labor Day, which -- as with Safina last year -- will suggest that her seeding didn't reflect merit. For all the hypothetical issues we discuss here (GOAT, the relative merits of
• I'm not sure McEnroe would be my choice megaphone here. (One of you asked whether his wife was going to bash him with the Gibson or the Stratocaster when he got home.) But is his sentiment really so ridiculous? Under the current rules of engagement, tennis is too physically demanding. Just look at the pile-up in the breakdown lane for proof. As you note: it applies for men and women. I suspect that because the "drawing cards" Federer and Nadal have been relatively healthy this year, it's not quite as glaring.
• I can't even pick a decent first-round upset, and you're asking me to prognosticate tropical storms? I strongly doubt anything will be done preemptively.
• It sure would help if there were rigorous data to back up an assertion. Federer's backhand might not be his strength. But are there ... say ... 10 backhands you'd prefer to possess? Not me. Also, I wouldn't consider Federer's backhand in isolation. It meshes well with the rest of his game, the cross-court flick setting up the forehand, the one-hander complementing his court coverage. I'd be curious to his response if he were asked: "All things being equal, if it were possible, would you trade backhands with Nadal?"
• Duty noted. He's tall, Croatian, solid from the backcourt, could use a nice result here.
• Data? Tennis? Welcome to my world.
**Of the current WTA Top 10, eight have service games won percentage of 70 or better.
• I don't think fans would like it. Especially when the players were either injured or so dog tired they were unable to compete at full strength for the next match. This is less about sexism -- or even physiology -- than the fact that women's points are appreciably longer.
I realize we're in agree-to-disagree territory here. But I still say we'd be best served if the men played best-of-three the first week of a slam and best-of-five the second.
• I didn't witness this episode, but I'll cop to seeing other acts of shaky decorum that suggest Azarenka could use a few session on the Federer Swiss Finishing School. If anyone knows the ball kid in question, feel free to forward this. And, long as you brought it up, the web stream is indeed fantastic. That's the wizardry of
• Thanks to the many of you who offered book titles. Profoundly appreciated. I'll keep you posted. And we have more Biomimetic rackets to give away (
• From our friends at the Hall of Fame: Mahut, who played in the longest match at tennis history, will present the International Tennis Hall of Fame with the racquet used in the "The Match." The racquet will be displayed at the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which chronicles the history of tennis from its 14th century origins through present-day notable moments. Mahut's apparel from the match is already on display at the Museum, which is located in Newport, R.I.
• Nice touch by the USTA, hiring
• For the Rafael-ites: The interview is good but
• Forgot this yesterday: