• If the Hit for Haiti debacle isn't a dead horse, it's on a respirator. But given how much mail we received on this, let's go in for a final flogging. First, to Emma's point: It's inconceivable that Federer and Nadal would take swipes at each other today -- much less in the future when they're retired and have kids. It's not simply that there's too much mutual respect, or that they are too "classy." They're just not wired to think that way. I'm envisioning someone asking Nadal about Federer's tipping habits. He'd flash an incredulous smile, look at his translator to make sure he heard the question right, snort and then say something to the effect of: "I'm sure Roger is very generous, no? But why would I give a #@&!? He's won 16 Majors. That's more important than how much money he gives or doesn't give to the guy who parks his car, no?"
I was intrigued by this line from
Much as we've enjoyed a few days of parsing words, interpreting body language and playing amateur psychoanalysts, my favorite summary may have come from reader
On that note, as we go deep in the Indian Wells draw, let's get back to tennis...
• I feel like Hedley Lamarr in
Along with most other WTA stars, Henin and Clijsters are no longer on the draw in Indian Wells. Henin was cast aside by
• So there's been ample hand-wringing over the state of American tennis -- and the results from Indian Wells don't inspire great hope projecting forward. The state of affairs in the UK is similarly grim, as the endless drumbeat of Davis Cup drama attests. Last month we linked a piece about the in-fighting and dire circumstances facing Tennis Australia. The situation in France is better, but, for all creditable players, it's not as though they're bringing home Grand Slam trophies. Anyone else see a pattern, here? Maybe the millions in development booty a country receives in exchange for hosting a Major is a disguised blessing? Discuss...
• I think we need to start (re)drawing a line here. No disrespect to JCF, a fine player, a Grand Slam Champ, and by all accounts (including mine), a good guy. But we're talking about the HALL OF FAME here, i.e. the institution that, in other sports, has barred the door to players on the order of
• I'm not sure Conchita Martinez returning is much more fanciful than the prospect of JCF winning another title -- seven years after his first. It's nice to see him return and win some matches. But there's a world of difference between a second-tier clay court event and the French Open. Consider that in Ferrero's last best-of-five match, he lost to the formidable
• Are you kidding? The Davis Cup is the Super Bowl, Burning Man and South-by-Southwest rolled into one. It's the coolest, hippest, fan-friendliest event on the calendar. If it were any more relevant, it would be the World Cup. I have reams of survey data I can show. And look at all these snazzy sponsors lined up! If Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and
• I'd agree that Nalbandian's commitment to Davis Cup is exemplary. It's
• He knows that
• I contend that, especially when the records are contiguous, you're not really "breaking" your own records, so much as you're "extending" your records.
• We'll say it again: Any correspondence triggering laughter out loud gets reprinted. I assume this is a reference to BNP Paribas sponsoring an event outside Paris. Doesn't bother me. They're looking to expand the brand. Tennis is pleased for their support. And I think they've done a good job "activating," as they say. Certainly better than Pacific Life ever did.
• The WTF Masters Cup ... can we stop a second? What genius in the branding department didn't Google that abbreviation first, just to make sure, you know, it didn't stand for something else? Presumably, the LMFAO Championship was already taken. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh right. The WTF Masters Cup will be held in London for a good many years. But I agree that [Naming Rights Still Available] Cowboys Stadium would be a great venue for some sort of tennis-palooza.
• Honestly, I wouldn't read much into it. It's like the band proclaiming, "Everyone knows that the best rock-and-roll fans are right here in Toledo." The next night, the mythical honor goes to the fans in Akron. I would also add, cynically, that when you're being paid a six-figure appearance fee, you're especially prone to say nice things. (And when you're a seven-time Grand Slam champ at a low tier event in an underserved market, the audience will be squarely in your corner.)
• Okay, bad example. I should have chosen, like,
• New York readers: Consider this another plug for
• On Sunday at the Belleair Country Club in Florida,
• Andrew, New York City was kind enough to send
• I love
Have a good week, everyone!