• Absolutely. I thought Wozniacki's credentials as a top seed were a bit shaky. She had made a deep run at a major only once. She hadn't beaten a lot of the top players. She crashed out of Wimbledon, the previous Slam, winning two games against
While there are still three more rounds to play, she's been tremendous so far. She won her first three matches as though she were double-parked and didn't want a ticket. Against Sharapova, she outfought and outthought a former champ in the most anticipated match of Week One. For a player who's too easily dismissed as a counterpuncher, she showed aggression, she moved well, she won points at the net. Just a command performance. I think I speak for many when I say I have new esteem for her game. Looking forward to seeing if she can sustain it in Week Two.
To clarify: Wozniacki, as Les writes, had an unfortunate incident here in the juniors, cursing under her breath at an official. (If I'm not mistaken, she's the last player to be defaulted from the U.S. Open!) Immediately after the incident someone at the ITF expressed shock, telling me, "She's the sweetest girl!" Before that incident and ever since, I've never heard a bad word about her sportsmanship, conduct or disposition.
• I was talking to someone about Brad Gilbert's shot at being Davis Cup captain. My friend -- who's asked to go anonymous -- laughed at the notion that the man who Americanizes the names of foreign players and can't go a sentence without an American sports metaphor would be asked to represent the U.S. in a global competition.
But we love Brad. Somehow he pulls it off. Here's a gripe I have: Remember the VCchip? There should be a narcissism chip that beeps every time an announcer conducting a Q&A makes excessively self-referential remarks. Former players, male in particular, take note: It's not always about you. You're not the star any more. Let the guy speak -- or let the match unfold -- without making yourself the story. (I feel like I should add this: For as much as some of you complain about the blandness of Mary Joe Fernandez, you don't hear her telling war stories or starting every sentence with "I." Credit her for knowing that she's not the story.)
• It's a pity, made all the more so by the fact that she's so damn pleasant as a person. (Which, then again, may be part of the problem.) I was thinking: Ten years ago, Dementieva played a three-setter in the semifinals against Lindsay Davenport. Since then it's been a lot of heartbreak.
• I picked Clijsters before the tournament and I'm sticking with her. Clijsters hasn't made drama, hasn't had a real test (a la Wozniacki), hasn't worn anything outrageous. She thus flies below the proverbial radar.
• You're singing my song, Lloyd.
Two points: a) Louis Armstrong as from Queens, b) the tennis media -- TV, print, online -- tend to bunk at the tennis center for two weeks, staying till the infomercial hours and returning the next day, seeing the same faces and eating the same food. As such, reports can be a bit jaded. But for the average fan, the U.S. Open is just an exceptional sporting event.
• I love the word miserabilism. At first I misread for nihilism, which works too. It recalls that cartoon for Murray 1-900-GLOOM line. Can one of you find that for us?
• Context. This wasn't A breast-beating "not in my house." It was an acknowledgment that, coming as he does from the metro New York area, he feels a particular attachment to Ashe. Let him go.
• I posted this on Twitter yesterday. This is wacky stuff, as Ed McMahon used to say. But how refreshing to stumble across a quirky player.
• My temptation would be to given it Federer -- hey, he had a lousy spring, but look at him now! -- just so he could have the full complement of the ATP trophies.
• Juliana of Sao Paulo, Brazil: "Considering the success of the
• The USTA announced today that it has passed new rules governing competition for 10-and-under tennis tournaments. The new rules require that 10-and-under tournaments be played using slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls, on smaller courts and utilizing shorter, lighter racquets. The rule change follows the International Tennis Federation's recent rule change and will take effect on January 1, 2012. It will apply to all USTA-sanctioned events for children 10-and-under.
• Vivek Khandekar of Houston, Texas with Separated at Birth:
Have a good day everyone. And Happy 5771!