WIMBLEDON, England --
• And now for something completely different ...
Venus is usually at her best on the grass, but she looked thoroughly out of sorts Tuesday, as though she weren't familiar with the parameters of the court. Mid-rally balls sailed beyond the baseline, alighting near the back fence. Serves hit the bottom of the net. She tallied 29 unforced errors in 17 games. As she put it after the match: "If there was a shot to miss, I missed it." Not since her first Wimbledon has she lost so dismally. Of course, she was 17 then.
As was the case Monday with
But the prevailing sight Tuesday was 10,000 or so fans scratching their heads in unison. Venus Williams, five-time champ, losing so dismally in the second week of Wimbledon? Go figure.
• While not quite as seismic an upset, shortly after Venus was dispatched,
Zvonareva, well-known for her collapses, put a towel over her head on changeovers to shield herself from distractions -- like, say, knowing the winner would not have to play Venus for a ticket to the final. When she left her chair, she played fine defensive tennis and scored the biggest win of her career.
• After the two upsets,
Provided she takes care of business in the next two rounds, she'll win her 13th major championship, spanning more than a decade. That's nearly double Venus' total. And far as we're concerned, it's time to start a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) discussion.
• I say enough on the grunting. Sure, it's annoying and unpleasant. But on the continuum of the problems plaguing tennis -- starting with balkanized television coverage -- shrieking doesn't make the list. Plus, as K. notes, the WTA doesn't appear to be willing/able to stop it.
• I'm told that Federer and Nadal were re-elected and Djokovic's spot went to
• More on the use of the word "hero" from
• The New York Sportimes of World Team Tennis are accepting applications for the first "Ball Senior" position for their select July home matches at the new Randall's Island facility. Check it out