Mailbag: What's in an upset?
• In this case, let's toss out the seedings/rankings. Henin is playing a Grand Slam tournament she has more or less owned since the early 2000s. She has won a haul of Slams. She has -- and maybe you've heard this? -- a particular attachment to Roland Garros.
Sam Stosur is a fine player, but apart from being no one's clay-court specialist, she's had a history of falling short in big matches. She has never been to a Grand Slam final in singles. No question this was an upset. Should we account for the fact that a) Henin is still a bit rusty after her 18-month hiatus and, b) Stosur has done a convincing impersonation of a top-five player over the past year and c) Stosur had the higher ranking? Absolutely. Still, we vote upset. In fact, probably the biggest of the tournament ... for about 24 hours anyway.
Karl does however make a good point. One can't simply look at the seedings to determine what is and isn't an upset. Surface, form, health, context all obviously factor in. Did
• I like John's question but I'd warn against getting too seduced. Time and again we see this: Player X -- Sam Stosur in 2009, comes immediately to mind -- kill it in Paris and suddenly becomes a hot stock. Then he or she fizzles, inexplicably, on the grass. Conversely, Player Y -- think Venus in 2007 -- falters miserably on the clay. Suddenly, she is a world-beater on grass. Again, if tennis were more up to speed vis-à-vis analytics, I suspect data would confirm there is surprisingly little correlation between results at the French and at Wimbledon. I look at an athletic, in-form player the likes of Shvedova or Stosur and might conclude that success on the grass awaits. But who knows?
As for Roddick, many of you have raised a similar point. Some athletes require attitude adjustments. Some athletes require other adjustments. And he's always going to be a threat at Wimbledon, no matter how he fared on clay.
• You spend time in a long-term relationship with
• See, this is what I mean. Martinez won friggin' Wimbledon. We should all be so profligate with our talent. How much of an underachiever could she really be? Should she added a few majors along the way? Probably. But when we're fingering underachievers, what about all these junior champs who never cracked the Top 50 on the pro tours?
• Yeah. Let's table this discussion for a while. But Emilio is right: Had Federer lost
• OK, but how many sporting events have their own annual poster? I love this touch. In the U.S., the boys in branding and marketing would kill the idea because the logo wasn't sufficiently consistent.
• Good catch. If we wanted to get really crazy/desperate we would point out that
"Yeah, it really helped me to have her here all week," said the 20-year-old Young, who beat No. 5 seeded
• From the college game: "Two American sophomores,
• The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced that Oriflame, one of Europe's fastest growing beauty brands, will become the Tour's official cosmetics partner beginning in 2011.
Enjoy Week Two, everyone!