• Old joke: "What time is it when your protégé wears a half-million dollar watch? Time to explain that his plain-folks sensibilities was a great part of his appeal."
Remember that brutally unkind
One gets the feeling that some "brand manager" or "image consultant" has determined this persona isn't good enough, that there are more commercially appealing images. "The old Rafa was for kids; we need the adult Rafa," a member of his team once told me. As a result, the tastemakers are attempting the "class him up," attiring him in clothes that would get him mocked for dweebishenss at the Greenwich Country Club; allowing him to wear -- and then, inexplicably, publicizing -- a watch that costs more than 10 times what the average Mallorcan worker will earn in a year. Athletes are, of course, allowed to take whatever endorsements come their way. They are also permitted to change and evolve. (How many of us wear the same outfit or hold the same political views we did five years go?) But try too hard and you come off looking like the woodwind orchestra that puts on a backwards baseball cap and tries to pass itself off as hip-hop.
• I'm not so surprised -- certainly not shocked -- that Serena is still, understandably, sore about this: that Henin's "lying and fabricating," as Serena called it at the time, is still lodged in her memory. (I'm not sure she "carries a grudge," as that implies a level of vindictiveness.) And again, it wasn't meant to condone or condemn. I just thought it was an interesting and genuine revelation from someone who can be hard to read at times.
I do get tripped up on this: When Serena went nuclear at the U.S. Open last year, one of her camp's explanations was that in the heat of battle, athletes can make some regrettable choices. Couldn't the same apply to Henin? Shouldered with pressure that most of us will never know, she made a split second choice she wishes she could take back. (See:
Eugene does make a good point though: Had some semblance of an apology been forthcoming, I suspect that would have gone a long way toward forgiving and forgetting. Unfortunately, no admission of guilt was forthcoming. And Henin continues to flout the rules with mid-match coaching. Which is too bad.
• And think of what those granules of clay could do to a $500,000 watch.
• Right. Thanks to the many of you who noted such. Sadly
• As I
• Yeah, this is precisely why many of us -- self included -- have a hard time mustering much outrage over the crystal meth, the ungracious remarks toward
• You can't go wrong. Take the Metro and walk from the Porte d'Auteuil stop. Don't bother with cabs, much less attempt to drive. Be sure to check out "The Bullring," one of the great courts in tennis. Don't neglect the practice courts behind Lenglen Stadium. The food is surprisingly blah, so you might want to bring something from the outside. Bring sunblock but also an umbrella. Keep an eye out for that
• Far be in from us to give short shrift to a Minnesotan.
• Fair enough. I suspect it's because Serena's pattern hasn't changed over the course of her entire career. A full third of her 36 titles -- a strikingly small haul for a player of her caliber -- have been majors. (Consider:
• In a word: YES! Federer
• Thanks, I guess it goes to prove: Neither subjects nor the media is/are stagnant .
• I suspect that there are more charitable ways to characterize Wozniacki. But, yes, let the record reflect that Serena and Venus -- more than a dozen years after they broke on the scene -- might well be 1-2 in the world soon.
• Thanks, There's a Divine Brown joke in here somewhere, waiting to get out.
• Just a reminder that if you're not into Twitter, I'll post a lot of the same material on
• FROM THE ATP: Noticed some fans asking about Tursunov and Spadea this week. Thought you might want to point them to the player video features produced each week for our TV show
• The Serena/JJ incident reminded one reader of
• Why is everyone knocking the plaid pants of Rafa/Roger? Maybe
• Good to see
• Roger Federer,
• Harshest press release of the week goes the folks at Tennis Canada after
• Based in the U.S.? Fluent in both English and Italian? Possess a passion for tennis and writing/editing? Web savvy? If so, contact me and I may have a part-time employment opportunity.