You can lament the length of the season. You can mourn a confusing ranking system, greedy administrators and tape-delayed broadcasts. You can mourn the corruption of the word "retirement." But say this about tennis: It's never boring. This year's episodes included cocaine kisses, crystal meth cover-ups, unraveling hairpieces, no-fault foot faults, and $9 million payoffs.
But, as always, the sport's steak outlasts the sizzle. This was the year
Because "tennis offseason" might be the biggest oxymoron this side of "team of mavericks" -- apparently the offseason falls on a Tuesday this year -- we only have a few hours to squeeze in this 2009 awards show. First the cut and paste from years past: before dispensing gifts to our winners, a detour into sappiness. If you get half as much pleasure (guilty to be sure) from reading this column as I get from writing it, we're all doing pretty well. Your questions and observations are, reliably, thoughtful and informed and passionate, and please know that every last one -- even the ones wishing me incurable athlete's foot -- are read. Think of this as a sincere invitation to belly up to the bar in '10 and we'll do it again. Maybe even with podcasts thrown in for variety.
So, the votes have been certified by PricewaterhouseCoopers and
Even accounting for her behavioral demerit at the U.S. Open, how can you overlook
It's never entirely clear where to make the distinctions here. But we'll go with young
In addition to beating
Though her season was bittersweet -- ending with a highly dubious suspension -- Belgium's
A special nod to
Kim Clijsters sets the new standard for this award. In her first major tournament after more than a year away from the tour -- during which time she got married and became a mother -- she walked off with the U.S. Open title.
The Bryans finished the year at No. 1. But here's a vote for
Eighteen months ago,
Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin,
Jack Kramer, Randy Snow, Larry Scott, Marat Safin, Fabrice Santoro, Amelie Mauresmo, Younes El Aynaoui, Luis Horna, Thomas Johansson, Hyung-Taik Lee, Andrei Pavel, Kevin Ullyett, Martin Verkerk Tennis Week, Virginia Ruano Pascual, Ai Sugiyama, Roger Gatchalian, Kris Dent, Nathalie Dechy, Emilei Loit, Tzipi Obziler, Mathieu Montecourt, Federico Luzzi, Indianapolis ATP stop.
Let's go to the videotape:
Let's go the videotape:
The same week he achieved a career-high ranking of No.22,
After losing at Wimbledon, Querrey tweeted: "on my return home from my close 5 set loss, i was struck, yet again, by a drunk vagrant in Wimbledon village, this time in the gut."
After nearly tattooing
After informing a line judge "If I could, I'd take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat', " Serena Williams said -- straightfaced -- "I don't know why she would have felt threatened."
Serena's outburst following a footfault call coincided with the release of her memoir titled, "On the Line."
In his candid memoir
According to published reports,
In an attempt to defend his client, Murray's agent asserted, "He doesn't play computer games more than any other 22-year-old."
Two players in the Stockholm Open were cited by police for attempting to solicit a prostitute.
Fearing terrorist threats, courageous Swedish officials held the country's Davis Cup tie against Israel in an empty arena.
From the "lost in translation" department, Stan
Hewitt's wife, Bec, is suing an Australian publication that alleged she had a "new man in her life...special guy who's always by her side.... the kind of hunk every young mum dreams about." Bec's mum, in particular. The "new man," was
Having failed a drug test,
A Mumbai real estate developer has constructed a
An intrepid reporter at the U.S. Open got a look at Andy Murray's attire and asked: "Who's
Have a great holiday everyone and best for 2010!