While struggling to digest
• Several of you wrote in making the same point and I think it bears addressing. Yes, claiming you are withdrawing because you are "not 100 percent" rang odd. What athlete is fully healthy, especially midway through a season? Yet I would encourage you to cut Nadal some slack here. For one, there's the lost-in-translation factor. Second, as Roger notes, given what we know about Nadal, he's the last guy who would be cavalier about his commitments. (Spark up the 2009 Australian Open video.) Particularly, as the defending champion, you know he had to be awfully banged up not to even attempt to play. And while Nadal is the last person you'd call mercenary, it's safe to assume his decision came at a steep financial price. The forfeited endorsement bonuses alone surely exceeded seven figures.
If Nadal does come in for some criticism, it's in his scheduling. You play a grinding, violent style of tennis to begin with. Plus, the ATP policy -- a discussion for another time -- compels you to enter five heavy-duty events between mid-March and the French Open. That being the case, did Nadal really need to enter Barcelona? And guess how many doubles matches he played in 2009? Nine. That's a lot of mileage before you've played the second Slam of the season. Yes, easy to carp in hindsight. But I'd be very surprised if Nadal is quite so active in the first half of 2010.
• I think you've inadvertently answered the question. When the rules are selectively enforced, the "relative unknowns" emulate this bad behavior. Not only that: So do the juniors. We've seen this with on-court coaching. We've seen this with the excessive time between points. We now see it with grunting. If
• Cue the
• At the risk of triggering an investigation from the "Tennis Integrity Unit," I predict that the sluggish global economy and the tenuous sponsorship market will cause leagues and organizations to relax ethical standards. Seriously, this is like Major League Baseball accepting sponsorships from mail-order pharmacies.
• You stumped me. Sure seems like money being left on the table. And I'm with you: I'd happily pay for a DVD of, say, the 1984 French Open final.
• Yes, and if Federer wins Wimbledon we will have -- after nearly three decades of failure -- two straight "summer double" winners.
• An in-house
• Problem fixed? Just got this: "NBC Sports and the AELTC combine to present Live at Wimbledon, providing live streaming and on-demand access to The Championships, Wimbledon. The Live at Wimbledon video experience, which will be powered by Microsoft Silverlight, marks the first time that coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon will be widely available in the U.S. via free, live online streaming.
"NBC Sports will present more than 38 broadcast hours of coverage over nine days from Wimbledon beginning this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and includes live coverage of the Gentleman's and Ladies' Finals. All matches televised by NBC Sports are available online at Live at Wimbledon via NBCSports.com and Wimbledon.org."
• Thanks to
• Nice win by
• When did "patchy" become such a voguish tennis adjective?
• Bet $1 for
• Good long-lost siblings from
Enjoy Day 2, everyone!