Olympic tennis seed reports
LONDON -- The draw is out. See the full
None to speak of that are of Rosol-def.-Nadal level.
Venus def. Errani
• Yes and no. Some players might get paid from their federations and some might get financial rewards from their own countries in the event they win a medal. Others are given enough perks and in-kind compensation (like $20,000 in air travel if you're from one well-heeled federation.) But there is no purse or conventional prize money.
A few of you asked this: There are no scheduling traditions either. It's not as if the defending champions (both of whom are absent by the way) christen play or start on Centre Court or anything like that. Consider this a conventional tournament in terms of who plays where and when. But bear in mind: most players are also competing in doubles.
• I try to be candid and still hang on to my job. Here's the scoop: Both the sports calendar and the SI calendar work to tennis' detriment. The Australian Open usually ends the week prior to the Super Bowl. Serena Williams could play 14 golden sets and she wouldn't likely make the cover, not when the biggest American event of the year looms. The French is a bit better but it ends the week of the NBA finals. The U.S. Open usually ends the first week of the NFL season. Again, little chance for a cover.
As for Wimbledon, in each of the last two years, it has ended during the week of the (unfailingly excellent) Where Are They Now? double issue. Editors made what is, I think, a wise decision that a story about the tournament would feel stale if it arrived in your mailbox and on newsstands a full 10 days after the last ball was struck. Instead -- as was the case last year -- we covered the heck out of the event online. Here's a
This is perhaps more of a, "inside-the-sausage-factory" answer than you'd wanted, but suffice to say there is a reason Wimbledon wasn't in your magazine. It had nothing to do with the identity of the champs or their countries of origin. And if nothing else, in a few years when the dates get pushed back a week, you can expect to see it back in your magazine.
• Devil's advocacy: The winner of a golf Major has to outperform the entire field directly; not simply the seven guys placed before him. (Speaking of devil's advocacy, what do you suppose Mr. Mephistopheles would charge for a billable hour?)
But I think you raise an issue that is totally underrated. In tennis, you lose, you go home. You can't make up for a lousy Thursday round on Friday, and still make the cut. That make Federer's streaks all the more admirable. Eat one bad oyster and you're done. Wake up with a stiff neck and you're done. Run into a zoning Czech and you're done. When Federer goes for the better part of a decade without losing before the business rounds, it's impressive.
• Never thought of Juan Martin del Potro as either political or someone who makes it into the
• Nitin of Hyderabad, India: "For Tennis fans and Federer fans in particular:
• J, of Portland, forwarded
• This is why we love Andy Murray. As linked to above, Dawn of Portland sends us
• Press releasin': "The USTA announced today that F. Skip Gilbert has been named Managing Director, Professional Tennis Operations & U.S. Open Tournament Manager. In his new role, Gilbert will be responsible for the USTA's professional tournaments, including Cincinnati, New Haven and Atlanta; oversee all aspects of the USTA Pro Circuit department, including its interaction with Player Development; oversee the USTA's officiating department and the USTA's United States Olympic Committee relationship; as well as serve as Tournament Manager at the U.S. Open."
• Ken Wells of Woburn, Mass.: "When watching the finals of the Swiss Open in Gstaad, I feared that