Monday November 22nd, 2010

1. Moya bids farewell: If you want to judge an athlete's popularity level among their peers, consider their retirement ceremony. Last month, we saw Elena Dementieva receiving an outpouring from her WTA colleagues. Sunday in London, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were among the legion of ATP stars who spent an otherwise free afternoon feting a departing Carlos Moya. Apart from winning the 1999 French Open and reaching the top ranking, Moya was a first-team All-Good Guy, who's been particularly gracious celebrating Nadal, a fellow Mallorcan who took away both some limelight and endorsement deals. No matter. Though he's 34 and years removed from his best tennis, Moya was emotional about his retirement: "It's not easy to leave the love of your life."

2. By the numbers: Throughout the year, the ATP has been more than a little aggressive promoting the unfortunately abbreviated World Tour Finals held this week at London's O2 Arena. This event, sponsored by Barclays, has been a fixture on the tour's website all season. References have been slipped into every press release and official announcement. For the past few days, players have mimicked the tourists in the Ricky Gervais sketch, touring Downing Street, posing alongside Big Ben, riding double-decker buses. ("What we call 'elevators' they call 'lifts!'")

Then again, unlike Cincinnati or Shanghai or Madrid, the ATP has prime ownership stake in the event. As such, it's a vital source of revenue for the organization. And what do the ATP's finances look like? Well here are the 990 filings for fiscal year 2009. Nothing jumps off the page - maybe a CPA in the audience has a different analysis? -- and the executives salaries don't appear to be exorbitant, at least not by White Plains standards. Still, it's interesting to see what ledgers of a tennis organization look like.

3. The 400 Club: What do Ted Williams, Joe Paterno and Esther Vergeer have in common? I asked this on Twitter yesterday and the best response came from the reader quoting Cliff Claven: "None has ever been in my kitchen." The other answer: each has reached a 400 milestone. Williams, of course, was the last baseball player to bat .400 in a season. Paterno earned his 400th college football coaching victory a few weeks back. Last weekend at the NEC Masters in Amsterdam, Vergeer, won her 400th consecutive wheelchair match. The 29-year-old Dutch native has not lost a match since 2003. The victory also coincided with her 102nd straight tournament title. Next time you hear the word "dominant" used to describe an athlete, consider Vergeer as your point of comparison.

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