Monday March 24th, 2008

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WhoWhy They're Up
Novak Djokovic
The best player in men's tennis in 2008, Serb wins another big title, taking the Pacific Life Open -- his impressive run highlighted by a straight-set evisceration of Rafael Nadal. Between Djoko's ascent and Roger Federer's tailspin, there sure is a lot of intrigue awaiting in Key Biscayne.
Ana Ivanovic
Top seed in Indian Wells lives up to her billing, taking out Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final and winning the biggest title of her career. What's that sound? Ah yes, the piercing whistle of the endorsement train.
Mardy Fish
To headline writers' delight (Note to one news outlet: You can do better than "Go Fish!"), American swims upstream to Indian Wells final. Even before his semifinal stunner against Federer, Fish looked an awful lot like a confident, attacking top-10 player. Just an outstanding week of tennis.
Doubles winners in Indian Wells
Dinara Safina and Elena Vesnina for the women. Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram for the men.
Jim Courier
The proverbial word on the street is that his junior-tennis documentary Unstrung will air on ESPN next month.
WTA
By taking a stand against Richard Williams, announcing free online match broadcasts to under-served fans and providing quality on-court matches, it was a fine week for the WTA and its CEO Larry Scott.
Tennis harmony
In a rare showing of unity, the Slams, ATP and WTA agreed to standardize electronic line-calling. (Solidarity trumpeted with three separate press releases.) Hey, it's a start.
Peeps
If you have any of those marshmallow treats left over from Easter, try putting them in the microwave for 55 seconds and eating after they've cooled a bit. Seriously.
Deuce
WhoAll tied up?
Lindsay Davenport
Rolls through Indian Wells draw -- including a win against '07 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli -- before injuring her back.
Tommy Haas
This guy ought to be included in any discussion of universal health care. Terminally injured German plays some of his best tennis in years, then has to withdraw against Federer with a sinus infection (a match, in retrospect, he must truly regret not having played.)
Andy Roddick
For no reason other than the excuse to link to this surreal video clip again.
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WhoWhy They're Down
Roger Federer
There is nothing to see here; please disperse. There is nothing to see here; please disperse.
Maria Sharapova
Sees her undefeated streak snapped by Kuznetsova and then pulls out of Key Biscayne.
Television coverage
At least in the States, it was hard to escape the conclusion that the sport took a step backward last week. Dear Fox Sports: If you're going to cover the sport, is it too much to ask that you stick to a match until the conclusion? Dear ESPN: Please come back. We promise to love you. Dear USTA: This would be an opportune time to intervene.

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