The global dramatic series that is professional tennis offered a bonus episode this year. The sport's successful appearance in the Olympic lineup only thickened the various plots. The season finale, the U.S. Open, begins at 11 a.m. on Monday and airs through Sunday, Sept. 9. (Or, Monday, Sept. 10, if rains addle the schedule, as has been the case for four years running.) Here are 10 "through lines" worth following.
It's been the mantra in women's tennis for the better part of a decade: Serena is the best in the business, when able and willing. Lately she is both, recovered from injuries and a frightening pulmonary embolism, motivated to show that, even in her 30s, she still has primacy. She hasn't won the U.S. Open since 2008, and she embarrassed herself in the final last year, losing both her cool and the match. But if she doesn't win in 2012, it will mark a monumental upset.
? The WTA will issue its policy on grunting. What will it sound like?
? Will tennis' thirty-somethings continue to rule the roost?
? Will the U.S. Open finally catch a break from Mother Nature. Or will we get a fifth straight Monday final on account of rain, causing a downpour of complaints about the absence of a roof?