Welcome back for another season...
• "How high can she get?" and "how well will she do?" are two different questions. Given the trends and the ranking system in WTA-land, I think she'll have a hard time getting back to No. 1. Even in her best years, Henin did not play a crammed schedule. It's hard to envision her simply playing enough tournaments to rack up the requisite points. Not when, say,
Can Henin return to winning Slams? Absolutely. First, Henin is still only 27. This isn't exactly
But maybe most important, consider the landscape. Though still ranked No. 1 at the time of her retirement, Henin was starting to get blown off the court by bigger and younger players. Since then?
• Especially given
Lots of holdover questions about Federer and the ritual Sportsman of the Year disappointment. Appreciate the awkwardness of my position here. I agree that Federer should have won in the past. But I had no problem with the 2009 choice of
• Good one. Quite apart from his on-court results, Djokovic made real strides in the court of public opinion last year. People close to him insisted that he was a good kid whose humor didn't always translate and his perceived "arrogance" was more a Serbian cultural bravado thing. Especially after the 2008 contretemps with Roddick (which nearly came to blows) and the U.S. Open booing, he retreated. But you can only repress the irrepressible for so long. By the second half of the 2009 season, he had returned to outgoing self -- if a bit more circumspect -- and won back the majority of Tennis Nation. Plus there was
• I'm not quite sure which revelations you're referencing. The crystal meth? I had no idea. Had I -- or any journalist -- even heard a whisper, you'd run through fire to try and substantiate or refute. The hairpiece? Obviously you don't go from a leonine mane to bald in months as Agassi appeared to do between the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995. But had I heard that a defective weave played such a prominent role in a Grand Slam final? No.
• If I'm the Bryan Brothers, I'm going into full courtship mode with the Williams sisters. Flowers, chocolates, gondola rides. Whatever it takes. That's a heck of an opportunity for Olympic gold. Say this: The sideshow that is the mixed doubles draw suddenly gets a lot more interesting given that there are Olympic implications.
• I still say Federer-Federer would be tremendous. More realistically, I like yours as well as a fan favorite pairing of
• Really, who are we to deprive Akiko Morigami of her props? (And only because you're from the O.C., we'll overlook the nine superfluous O's in "So.")
• Joel refers to this. I'm not sure one tasteless, indefensible remark nullifies an entire career. But his point is well-taken nonetheless.
• You got it.
• Duly noted.
• Slams are the coin of the realm in tennis. Since Hingis failed to win a major in the "aughts," it's hard to include her. Her five titles in the '90s, however, make her a shoo-in (ill-fitting, Sergio Tacchini) for the previous decade.
• The WTA notes:
• B. of Virginia notes this irony:
• Thank Ken Schneck of Brattleboro, Vt., for
Have a great opening week, everyone!