Mailbag: Kvitova bounces back nicely, Tipsarevic's surrender
A vegemite sandwich, while pondering what Serena Williams is up to these days ...
• Credit to Andy who did indeed tweak me for leaving Kvitova off my sleepers list. Kvitova reached the Wimbledon semis last year. (I took
I tweeted this yesterday, but so far this has been a standout event for the women. For as much flack as the WTA has taken recently -- for as many former No. 1's have faltered -- players have really distinguished themselves. Whether it's Caroline Wozniacki offering terrifically witty press conferences, or Andrea Petkovic showing game to match her dance moves, Li Na cracking jokes, a slimmed-down Svetlana Kuznetsova talking candidly about her finances, Francesca Schiavone dazzling with her old-school game, or Kvitova looking like a star on the make, we finally have storylines other than injuries, mental breakdowns and Serena Williams health updates. Brava.
• I recognize that I am clearly in the minority here. But I still say he was just mentally checked out. It showed weakness, no doubt. But it wasn't as though he was disrespecting the sport or the fans. He was simply fried. We use the word "tanking" but I think of tanking as the player who comes to a lower level event -- often getting a fat appearance fee -- and is indifferent to the outcome. I think that's considerably different from a guy who squanders match points and is then emotionally gutted, drained of fight.
• From now on, it's Brad Jeel-Bear. To my point that opinions don't just vary, but the very same traits you find endearing/loathsome, someone else finds loathsome/endearing ...
• If administered truth serum, I'd confess to be closer to this camp. Brad's passion for tennis -- totally genuine -- outstrips the lapses in decorum and occasional assault and battery on the English language.
• Who's No. 1 right now? 'Nuff said! I jest. Shawn and I have had a longrunning back and forth about Edberg. With the exception of Federer, I can hardly think of a male player with a more aesthetically pleasing than Edberg. (The forehand notwithstanding.) Yes, if I could replicate Nadal's game or Edberg's game, I'd take Edberg. Musculature? That's another story. I do, however, like Nadal's take when he's asked about his game. He essentially borrows from Popeye: "I am what I am, no?" I paraphrase here, but not by much: "If I could play prettier I would. But I have to work with what I got!"
• That prediction was made when she had a healthy shoulder!
• Agassi retired in 2006 so the five-year period was met. As for his drug use, was it his proudest moment? No. Does it nullify his career achievements? Hardly. Rachmones, as they in West Virginia. Besides, if dabbling in recreational drugs precluded enshrinement, the Hall of Fame would be the Room of Fame.
• Conflicts? Tennis? Now you're talking crazy. If I'm Cahill I just disclose that up front that I have a relationship with Adidas and keep that under advisement when I comment -- or don't comment -- about Murray, Wozniacki, Verdasco, et al. Otherwise, it leads to the kind of skepticism that you and others share. On the other extreme, Pat McEnroe may have been the Davis Cup captain and may be a USTA executive. But that didn't stop him from calling Andy Roddick "bush league" when Roddick head-hunted Robin Haase. It's an awkward position either way, but the viewer is better served by this honesty than by slurpee-dom.
• No, I'm pretty sure he was copying Nate Robinson.
• The Sony Ericsson Open, one of the largest and most glamorous tennis tournaments in the world, is looking for volunteers to work at the 2011 event, March 21-April 3, at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami.
• We posed this question on Twitter but, but what do make of this: Andy Murray is the last player left from a Slam-hosting nation? A disguised blessing not to have bloated federation?
• Amy Chua: tennis mom?
• If you've been following the career of Aravane Rezai
• Doug Laidlaw of North Plainfield, N.J.: "Just wondering what unique auto-corrected words iPhone users have encountered. Every time I send texts about Nadal, my iPhone loves to change it the word "nasal." If I try to type "Monfils" I get the lovely conversion of "Mongols."
• Robert of Washington, D.C.: "Schiavone's win over Kuznetsova reminded me that she also won what was probably the longest Grand Slam match ever in terms of overall elapsed time: her
• Stefan Kozlov, a 12-year-old from Pembroke Pines, Fla., defeated fellow American Henrik Wiersholm, a 13-year-old from Kirkland, Wash., 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, in the singles final today at the AEGON Junior International in Bolton, England, the first of two premier international junior tournaments for players ages 14 and under being held in Europe this month. Kozlov and Wiersholm were both competing as part of a USTA contingent that is in England this week and will travel to France next week for Les Petits As.
• Jay of New York: "I know the Tennis Channel 'crawl' has been a hot topic lately. But the ESPN crawl deserves a bigger raspberry Displaying the result of the Roddick-Wawrinka match ("Roddick falls") WHILE the match is being broadcast on tape delay is a great way to ruin a perfectly good Sunday afternoon."
• Anita of St. Louis: "Anyone who doubts the power of Tennis in Belgium -- take a look at this
• Zeke Yusof of Chicago: "To add to your debate on the GOAT, here's a
• A reader whose info I've, lamentably, deleted: "Latest tennis lookalikes: